IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Delayed First Birth and New Mothers' Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Biological Fertility Shocks

  • Bratti, Massimiliano


    (University of Milan)

  • Cavalli, Laura


    (University of Verona)

We investigate the impact of delaying the first birth on Italian mothers' labor market outcomes around childbirth. The effect of postponing motherhood is identified using biological fertility shocks, namely the occurrence of miscarriages and stillbirths. Focusing on mothers' behavior around first birth our study is able to isolate the effect of motherhood postponement from that of total fertility. Our estimates suggest that delaying the first birth by one year raises the likelihood of participating in the labor market by 1.2 percentage points and weekly working time by about half an hour, while we do not find any evidence that late motherhood prevents a worsening of new mothers' job conditions (the so-called "mommy track"). Our findings are robust to a number of sensitivity checks, among which including controls for partners' characteristics and a proxy for maternal health status.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7135.

in new window

Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7135
Contact details of provider: Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. repec:cai:poeine:pope_902_0235 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 2-16, January.
  3. Mark B. Stewart, 1983. "On Least Squares Estimation when the Dependent Variable is Grouped," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 737-753.
  4. Massimiliano BRATTI, 2001. "Labour Force Participation and Marital Fertility of Italian Women: The Role of Education," Working Papers 154, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. Cigno, Alessandro & Ermisch, John, 1989. "A microeconomic analysis of the timing of births," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 737-760, April.
  6. Blackburn, McKinley L & Bloom, David E & Neumark, David, 1993. "Fertility Timing, Wages, and Human Capital," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30.
  7. Tomas Frejka & Jean-Paul Sardon, 2006. "First birth trends in developed countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(6), pages 147-180, September.
  8. Laura Veldkamp & Alessandra Fogli, 2009. "Nature or Nurture? Learning and the Geography of Female Labor Force Participation," 2009 Meeting Papers 141, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Daniela Del Boca & Daniela Vuri, 2006. "The Mismatch between Employment and Child Care in Italy: the Impact of Rationing," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 31, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  10. 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 for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
  12. Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes & Jean Kimmel, 2004. "The Motherhood Wage Gap for Women in the United States: The Importance of College and Fertility Delay," Economic Working Papers at Centro de Estudios Andaluces E2004/07, Centro de Estudios Andaluces.
  13. Tomas Frejka & Jean-Paul Sardon, 2006. "First birth trends in developed countries: a cohort analysis," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  14. Del Boca, Daniela, 2002. "The Effect of Child Care and Part Time Opportunities on Participation and Fertility Decisions in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 427, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Cruces, Guillermo & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "Fertility and female labor supply in Latin America: New causal evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 565-573, June.
  16. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  17. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
  18. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Massimiliano Bratti & Emilia Del Bono & Daniela Vuri, 2005. "New Mothers' Labour Force Participation in Italy: The Role of Job Characteristics," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 79-121, December.
  20. David Shapiro & Frank L. Mott, 1994. "Long-Term Employment and Earnings of Women in Relation to Employment Behavior Surrounding the First Birth," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 248-275.
  21. Laura Pagani & Anna Marenzi, 2008. "The Labor Market Participation of Sandwich Generation Italian Women," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 427-444, September.
  22. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
  23. Elizabeth Ty Wilde & Lily Batchelder & David T. Ellwood, 2010. "The Mommy Track Divides: The Impact of Childbearing on Wages of Women of Differing Skill Levels," NBER Working Papers 16582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Jorge M. Agüero & Mindy S. Marks, 2011. "Motherhood and Female Labor Supply in the Developing World: Evidence from Infertility Shocks," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(4), pages 800-826.
  25. Massimiliano Bratti & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2012. "The effect of delaying motherhood on the second childbirth in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 291-321, January.
  26. Dankmeyer, Ben, 1996. "Long Run Opportunity-Costs of Children According to Education of the Mother in the Netherlands," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 349-61, August.
  27. Concetta Rondinelli & Roberta Zizza, 2010. "(Non)persistent effects of fertility on female labour supply," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 783, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  28. Andrés Erosa & Luisa Fuster & Diego Restuccia, 2002. "Fertility Decisions and Gender Differences in Labor Turnover, Employment, and Wages," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 856-891, October.
  29. FFF1Gunnar NNN1Andersson, 2004. "Childbearing Developments in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden from the 1970s to the 1990s: A Comparison," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(7), pages 155-176, April.
  30. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, December.
  31. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2007. "Changes in the Labor Supply Behavior of Married Women: 1980–2000," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 393-438.
  32. Olivier Thevenon, 2009. "Increased Women's Labour Force Participation in Europe: Progress in the Work-Life Balance or Polarization of Behaviours?," Post-Print hal-00439108, HAL.
  33. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
  34. Jorge M. Aguero & Mindy S. Marks, 2008. "Motherhood and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Infertility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 500-504, May.
  35. Daniela Del Boca & Marilena Locatelli & Daniela Vuri, 2005. "Child-Care Choices by Working Mothers: The Case of Italy," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(4), pages 453-477, December.
  36. Francesca Bettio & Paola Villa, 1996. "A Mediterranean Perspective on the Break-Down of the Relationship between Participation and Fertility," Department of Economics Working Papers 9605, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  37. Arne Risa Hole, 2006. "Calculating Murphy-Topel variance estimates in Stata: A simplified procedure," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 6(4), pages 521-529, December.
  38. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  39. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-75, September.
  40. de Walque, Damien, 2007. "Does education affect smoking behaviors?: Evidence using the Vietnam draft as an instrument for college education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 877-895, September.
  41. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2008. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: A European perspective," Working Papers 011, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  42. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
  43. Giulia Bettin & Riccardo Lucchetti, 2012. "Interval regression models with endogenous explanatory variables," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 475-498, October.
  44. Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
  45. repec:ese:iserwp:2005-04 is not listed on IDEAS
  46. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
  47. Jaisri Gangadharan & Joshua Rosenbloom & Joyce Jacobson & James Wishart Pearre III, 1996. "The Effects of Child-Bearing on Married Women's Labor Supply and Earnings: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 5647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  48. Sandra Hofferth, 1984. "Long-term economic consequences for women of delayed childbearing and reduced family size," Demography, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 141-155, May.
  49. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  50. Renbao Chen & S. Morgan, 1991. "Recent Trends in the Timing of First Births in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 513-533, November.
  51. Wolfgang Lutz & Vegard Skirbekk, 2005. "Policies Addressing the Tempo Effect in Low-Fertility Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 31(4), pages 699-720.
  52. Julian P. Cristia, 2008. "The Effect of a First Child on Female Labor Supply: Evidence from Women Seeking Fertility Services," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 487-510.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7135. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.