Does Early Childbearing Matter?: New Approach Using Danish Register Data
32 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2015 Last revised: 9 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 1, 2019
Work interruptions related to childbearing are expected to affect mothers’ wages directly through changes in the formation of human capital. This effect is proposed as being exceptionally strong for early childbearing women who are about to start their working careers. This study investigates whether the poor long-term labor market outcomes experienced by women who first gave birth before turning 25 reflect previously existing disadvantages or are a consequence of the timing of childbearing. The purpose is also to observe whether a new combination of the best identification practices of earlier studies serves as a better estimation method. This is done by applying a within-family estimator while treating miscarriages as exogenous variation, thereby mitigating family and individual heterogeneity, which might have biased earlier results based on either of the two identification strategies alone. It is found that early childbearing has no long-term effects on women’s earnings.
Keywords: Fertility, child penalty, female labor outcomes
JEL Classification: J13, J24, J31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation