A Panel Data Analysis of Racial/Ethnic Differences in Married Women's Labor Supply

47 Pages Posted: 31 May 2011

See all articles by Kenneth R. Troske

Kenneth R. Troske

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics; University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Alexandru Voicu

City University of New York (CUNY) - College of Staten Island; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We study differences in life-cycle labor supply among white, black, and Hispanic women, focusing on the interaction between race/ethnicity, education, and fertility. We use panel data that capture women's labor market and fertility histories and an econometric model 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 an intricate connection between race/ethnicity, education, and fertility as determinants of women's life-cycle labor supply. For all levels of education, white women have fewer children, have the first birth later in life, and space subsequent births more closely together. The level of labor market involvement before the first birth is highest for white women and lowest for Hispanic women, but children reverse the relationship between race/ethnicity and level of labor market involvement. The negative effects of children are largest for white women and smallest for Hispanic women, and as a result, among women with two children, black and Hispanic women work more than white women. Racial/ethnic differences in fertility decisions, pre-natal labor supply, and labor supply responsiveness to children decline with the level education. Educational differences contribute to the racial/ethnic differentials in labor supply. White women have the highest levels of education and Hispanic women have the lowest levels of education. Other things equal, women with higher education have fewer children, have the first birth later in life, space subsequent births more closely together, work more before the birth of the first child, but face larger negative effects of children on their level of labor market involvement.

Keywords: racial/ethnic differentials in female labor supply, education, endogenous fertility decisions, heterogeneous children effects, multinomial probit model, Gibbs sampler

JEL Classification: C11, C15, J13, J22

Suggested Citation

Troske, Kenneth R. and Voicu, Alexandru, A Panel Data Analysis of Racial/Ethnic Differences in Married Women's Labor Supply. IZA Discussion Paper No. 5729, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1855161

Kenneth R. Troske (Contact Author)

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-4229 (Phone)
573-882-2697 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Alexandru Voicu

City University of New York (CUNY) - College of Staten Island ( email )

NY
United States
718-982-2899 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.library.csi.cuny.edu/~pep/voicu.htm

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
+49 228 38 94 527 (Phone)
+49 228 38 94 510 (Fax)

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