Cutting Fertility? The Effect of Cesarean Deliveries on Subsequent Fertility and Maternal Labor Supply

59 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016  

Martin Halla

University of Innsbruck - Department of Public Finance

Harald Mayr

University of Zurich

Gerald J. Pruckner

University Linz - Department of Economics

Pilar Garcia-Gomez

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE)

Abstract

The incidence of Cesarean deliveries (CDs) has been on the rise. The procedure's cost and benefits are discussed controversially; in particular, since non-medically indicated cases seem widespread. We study the effect of CDs on subsequent fertility and maternal labor supply. Identification is achieved by exploiting variation in the supply-side's incentives to induce non-medically indicated CDs across weekdays. On weekends and public holidays obstetricians' are less likely to induce CDs (due tighter capacity constraints in hospital). On Fridays and other days preceding a holiday, they face an increased incentive to induce CDs (due to their demand for leisure on non-working days).We use high-quality administrative data from Austria. Women giving birth on different weekdays are pre-treatment observationally identical. Our instrumental variable estimates show that a non-planned CD at parity one decreases life cycle fertility by almost 17 percent. This reduction in fertility translates into a temporary increase in maternal employment.

Keywords: Caesarean delivery, Caesarean section, fertility, female labor supply

JEL Classification: I12, J13, J11, J22, J21

Suggested Citation

Halla, Martin and Mayr, Harald and Pruckner, Gerald J. and Garcia-Gomez, Pilar, Cutting Fertility? The Effect of Cesarean Deliveries on Subsequent Fertility and Maternal Labor Supply. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9905. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2776910

Martin Halla (Contact Author)

University of Innsbruck - Department of Public Finance ( email )

Innrain 52
Innsbruck, 6020
Austria

Harald Mayr

University of Zurich

Rämistrasse 71
Zürich, CH-8006
Switzerland

Gerald J. Pruckner

University Linz - Department of Economics ( email )

Altenbergerstr. 69
A-4040 Linz, Uper Austria 4040
Austria

Pilar Garcia Gomez

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam, NL 3062 PA
Netherlands

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