IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/5188.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Career and Family: College Women Look to the Past

Author

Listed:
  • Claudia Goldin

Abstract

Recent college graduate women express frustration regarding the obstacles they will face in combining career and family. Tracing the demographic and labor force experiences of four cohorts of college women across the past century allows us to observe the choices each made and how the constraints facing college women loosened over time. No cohort of college graduate women in the past had a high success rate in combining family and career. Cohort I (graduating c. 1910) had a 50% rate of childlessness. Whereas cohort III (graduating c. 1955) had a high rate of childbearing, it had initially low labor force participation. Cohort IV (graduating c. 1972) provides the most immediate guide for today's college women and is close to the end of its fertility history. It is also a cohort that can be studied using the N.L.S. Young Women. In 1991, when the group was 37 to 47 years old, 28% of the sample's college graduate (white) women had yet to have a first birth. The estimates for career vary from 24% to 33% for all college graduate women in the sample. Thus only 13% to 17% of the group achieved 'family and career' by the time it was about 40 years old. Among those who attained career, 50% were childless. Cohort IV contains a small group of women who have combined family with career, but for most the goal remains elusive.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Goldin, 1995. "Career and Family: College Women Look to the Past," NBER Working Papers 5188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5188 Note: DAE LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5188.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benham, Lee, 1974. "Benefits of Women's Education within Marriage," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 57-71, Part II, .
    2. Goldin, Claudia, 1992. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195072709.
    3. Lee Benham, 1974. "Benefits of Women's Education within Marriage," NBER Chapters,in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 57-75 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Lee Benham, 1974. "Benefits of Women's Education within Marriage," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 375-394 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. White, Eugene N., 1996. "The past and future of economic history in economics," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(Supplemen), pages 61-72.
    2. Uri Gneezy & Muriel Niederle & Aldo Rustichini, 2003. "Performance in Competitive Environments: Gender Differences," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(3), pages 1049-1074.
    3. Sauré, Philip & Zoabi, Hosny, 2014. "International trade, the gender wage gap and female labor force participation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 17-33.
    4. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 450-477.
    5. Zheng Mu & Yu Xie, 2016. "'Motherhood penalty' and 'fatherhood premium'? Fertility effects on parents in China," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(47), pages 1373-1410, November.
    6. David S. Loughran, 2000. "Does Variance Matter? The Effect of Rising Male Inequality on Female Age at First Marriage," Working Papers 00-12, RAND Corporation.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J2 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5188. 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: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.