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Does early childbearing matter? New approach using Danish register data

Philip Rosenbaum

Labour Economics, 2020, vol. 65, issue C

Abstract: It is widely expected that career interruptions related to childbearing affect mothers’ wages directly through changes in the formation of human capital. Research proposes that this effect is 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 from earlier studies serves as an improved estimation method. This is done by applying a within-family estimator while treating miscarriages as an exogenous variation, thereby addressing family and individual heterogeneity, which might have biased earlier results based on either of the two identification strategies alone. The results show that early childbearing has no long-term effects on women's earnings.

Keywords: Fertility; Child penalty; Female labor outcomes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J13 J24 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101852

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