The Effect of Fertility on Mothers’ Labor Supply Over the Last Two Centuries

75 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2017

See all articles by Daniel Aaronson

Daniel Aaronson

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Rajeev H. Dehejia

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo

Andrew Jordan

University of Chicago

Cristian Pop-Eleches

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA)

Cyrus Samii

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics

Karl Schulze

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 2017

Abstract

Using a compiled dataset of 441 censuses and surveys between 1787 and 2015, representing 103 countries and 48.4 million mothers, we find that: (1) the effect of fertility on labor supply is typically indistinguishable from zero at low levels of development and large and negative at higher levels of development; (2) the negative gradient is stable across historical and contemporary data; and (3) the results are robust to identification strategies, model specification, and data construction and scaling. Our results are consistent with changes in the sectoral and occupational structure of female jobs and a standard labor-leisure model.

Suggested Citation

Aaronson, Daniel and Dehejia, Rajeev H. and Jordan, Andrew and Pop-Eleches, Cristian (Kiki) and Samii, Cyrus and Schulze, Karl, The Effect of Fertility on Mothers’ Labor Supply Over the Last Two Centuries (August 2017). NBER Working Paper No. w23717, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023115

Daniel Aaronson (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

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Rajeev H. Dehejia

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

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CESifo ( email )

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Andrew Jordan

University of Chicago

Cristian (Kiki) Pop-Eleches

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.columbia.edu/~cp2124

Cyrus Samii

New York University (NYU) - Wilf Family Department of Politics ( email )

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Karl Schulze

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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