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The Effect of the Timing and Spacing of Births on the Level of Labor Market Involvement of Married Women

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  • Troske, Kenneth

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Voicu, Alexandru

    (CUNY - College of Staten Island)

Abstract

We use panel data from NLSY79 to analyze the effects of the timing and spacing of births on the labor supply of married women in a framework that accounts for the endogeneity of labor market and fertility decisions, the heterogeneity of the effects of children and their correlation with the fertility decisions, and the correlation of sequential labor market decisions. Our results show that timing and spacing of births are important determinants of the effect of children on women's labor supply. Delaying the first birth leads to higher levels of labor market involvement before the birth of the first child and reduces the negative effect of the first child on the level of labor market involvement. Having the second birth after a longer interval reduces the effect of the second child on participation but increases its effect on the probability of working full time, as more women, having returned to work, respond to the second birth by moving from full time to part time jobs. Individual heterogeneity plays an important role in the relationship between labor market and fertility decisions. Women who have fewer children have the first birth later in life and space subsequent births more closely together, work more before the birth of the first child, but face larger effects of children on their labor supply.

Suggested Citation

  • Troske, Kenneth & Voicu, Alexandru, 2009. "The Effect of the Timing and Spacing of Births on the Level of Labor Market Involvement of Married Women," IZA Discussion Papers 4417, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4417
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    2. Lionel Wilner, 2016. "Worker-firm matching and the parenthood pay gap: Evidence from linked employer-employee data," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 991-1023, October.
    3. Jessica Nisén & Maarten J. Bijlsma & Pekka Martikainen & Ben Wilson & Mikko Myrskylä, 2019. "The gendered impacts of delayed parenthood on educational and labor market outcomes: a dynamic analysis of population-level effects over young adulthood," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2019-017, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Sylvia Frühwirth-Schnatter & Christoph Pamminger & Andrea Weber & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2016. "Mothers' long-run career patterns after first birth," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 179(3), pages 707-725, June.
    5. Massimiliano Bratti & Laura Cavalli, 2014. "Delayed First Birth and New Mothers’ Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Biological Fertility Shocks," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 35-63, February.
    6. Christian Neumeier & Todd Sørensen & Douglas Webber, 2018. "The Implicit Costs of Motherhood over the Lifecycle: Cross‐Cohort Evidence from Administrative Longitudinal Data," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 84(3), pages 716-733, January.
    7. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:31-37 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Matteo Picchio & Claudia Pigini & Stefano Staffolani & Alina Verashchagina, 2018. "If not now, when? The timing of childbirth and labour market outcomes," Working Papers 425, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
    9. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:2:p:19337561 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Xiaoyan Chen Youderian, 2014. "The motherhood wage penalty and non-working women," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 757-765.
    11. Fitzenberger, Bernd & Sommerfeld, Katrin & Steffes, Susanne, 2013. "Causal effects on employment after first birth — A dynamic treatment approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 49-62.
    12. Angelov, Nikolay & Johansson, Per & Lee, Myoung-jae, 2017. "The effect of fertility timing on labor market work duration," Working Paper Series 2017:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    13. Kasey S. Buckles & Elizabeth L. Munnich, 2012. "Birth Spacing and Sibling Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 613-642.
    14. Margaret Gough, 2017. "Birth spacing, human capital, and the motherhood penalty at midlife in the United States," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 37(13), pages 363-416.
    15. Sophie-Charlotte Klose, 2020. "Identifying Latent Structures in Maternal Employment: Evidence on the German Parental Benefit Reform," Papers 2011.03541, arXiv.org.
    16. Fontenay, Sébastien & Tojerow, Ilan, 2020. "Work Disability after Motherhood and How Paternity Leave Can Help," IZA Discussion Papers 13756, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Michael S. Rendall & Eowna Young Harrison & Mónica L. Caudillo, 2020. "Intentionally or Ambivalently Risking a Short Interpregnancy Interval: Reproductive-Readiness Factors in Women’s Postpartum Non-Use of Contraception," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(3), pages 821-841, June.
    18. Massimiliano Bratti & Elena Claudia Meroni & Chiara Pronzato, 2017. "Motherhood Postponement and Wages in Europe," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(02), pages 31-37, August.
    19. Massimiliano Bratti, 2015. "Fertility postponement and labor market outcomes," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 117-117, January.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    heterogeneous children effects; endogenous fertility decisions; female labor supply; timing and spacing of births; multinomial probit model; Gibbs sampler;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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