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

Anikó Bíró, Steven Dieterle and Andreas Steinhauer

No 13732, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C26 J13 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem and nep-lab
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