EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Reconciling Estimates of the Long-Term Earnings Effect of Fertility

Simon Bensnes (), Ingrid Huitfeldt and Edwin Leuven
Additional contact information
Simon Bensnes: Statistics Norway

No 16174, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper presents novel methodological and empirical contributions to the child penalty literature. We propose a new estimator that combines elements from standard event study and instrumental variable estimators and demonstrate their relatedness. Our analysis shows that all three approaches yield substantial estimates of the long-term impact of children on the earnings gap between mothers and their partners, commonly known as the child penalty, ranging from 11 to 18 percent. However, the models not only estimate different magnitudes of the child penalty, they also lead to very different conclusions as to whether it is mothers or partners who drive this penalty – the key policy concern. While the event study attributes the entire impact to mothers, our results suggest that maternal responses account for only around one fourth of the penalty. Our paper also has broader implications for event-study designs. In particular, we assess the validity of the event-study assumptions using external information and characterize biases arising from selection in treatment timing. We find that women time fertility as their earnings profile flattens. The implication of this is that the event-study overestimates women's earnings penalty as it relies on estimates of counterfactual wage profiles that are too high. These new insights in the nature of selection into fertility show that common intuitions regarding parallel trend assumptions may be misleading, and that pre-trends may be uninformative about the sign of the selection bias in the treatment period.

Keywords: child penalty; female labor supply; event study; instrumental variable (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C36 J13 J16 J21 J22 J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 55 pages
Date: 2023-05
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eur, nep-gen, nep-lab and nep-mfd
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
https://docs.iza.org/dp16174.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Reconciling estimates of the long-term earnings effect of fertility (2023) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp16174

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Holger Hinte ().

 
Page updated 2024-02-27
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp16174