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(Why) Do self-employed parents have more children?

Nzinga Broussard, Ralph Chami () and Gregory Hess ()

Review of Economics of the Household, 2015, vol. 13, issue 2, 297-321

Abstract: Using data from the U.S. Census, we find that married self-employed men have between 0.1 and 0.2 more children as compared to if they are not self-employed. This is consistent with the hypothesis that self-employed households have a preference for larger families to raise the likelihood that an inside family member will be a good match at running the business. This empirical relationship is established using a regression framework, including the use of instrumental variables estimation to allow for the possibility of endogeneity of the respondent’s self-employment status and whether the respondent’s spouse stays at home. Moreover, we find a slightly higher demand for sons among the self employed who are over 40 at the time of the 1990 U.S. Census: namely, given the exogenous variation in gender mix of prior children, self employed parents born prior to 1950 appear to have an increased demand for a third child if the first two children were not sons. This effect does disappear, however, for the later generation of respondents. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Keywords: Self-employment; Children; Family business; D10; D13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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