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Measuring the effect of the timing of first birth on wages

Jane Leber Herr ()
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Jane Leber Herr: Harvard University

Journal of Population Economics, 2016, vol. 29, issue 1, No 3, 39-72

Abstract: Abstract I study the effect of first-birth timing on women’s wages, defining timing in terms of labor force entry, rather than age. Considering the mechanisms by which timing may affect wages, each is a function of experience rather than age. This transformation also highlights the distinction between a first birth after labor market entry versus before. I show that estimates based on age understate the return to delay for women who remain childless at labor market entry and have obscured the negative return to delay—to a first birth after labor market entry rather than before—for all but college graduates. My results suggest, however, that these returns to first-birth timing may hold only for non-Hispanic white women.

Keywords: First-birth timing; Women; Wages (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J16 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-015-0554-z

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