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Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay

Elizabeth Caucutt (), Nezih Guner () and John Knowles ()

Review of Economic Dynamics, 2002, vol. 5, issue 4, 815-855

Abstract: This paper explores the interaction between wage inequality and the marriage and fertility decisions of young women. We develop an equilibrium search model of marriage, divorce, and investment in children that allows for differential timing of fertility. We show how patterns of fertility timing in U.S. data can be explained by the incentives for fertility delay implied by marriage and labor markets. We find that these incentives help explain both the cross-sectional relationship between women's wages and fertility timing and the changes over the past 40 years in married women's fertility timing and labor supply. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Keywords: marriage; fertility; returns to experience (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J12 J13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002
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DOI: 10.1006/redy.2002.0190

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