Motherhood Timing and the Child Penalty: Bounding the Returns to Delay

68 Pages Posted: 22 May 2019

See all articles by Anikó Bíró

Anikó Bíró

University of Edinburgh

Steven Dieterle

University of Edinburgh

Andreas Steinhauer

University of Edinburgh; CEPR

Date Written: May 2019

Abstract

We use administrative data from Austria to analyze labor market returns to delaying motherhood. We exploit delays due to pregnancy loss to provide bounds on the returns that account for imperfect instruments and selection into the sample for mothers that suffer a loss. Our results suggest small effects of delay on earnings, employment, and firm quality--- in contrast with the prior literature. The lower bounds suggest little difference in earnings trajectories around the first birth. This raises the possibility that much of the return may come from delaying the "child penalty" rather than changing how the career responds to children.

Keywords: Female Earnings, fertility timing, imperfect instrument

JEL Classification: C26, J13, J31

Suggested Citation

Bíró, Anikó and Dieterle, Steven and Steinhauer, Andreas, Motherhood Timing and the Child Penalty: Bounding the Returns to Delay (May 2019). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP13732, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3391079

Anikó Bíró (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

Steven Dieterle

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Andreas Steinhauer

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

CEPR ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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