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The impact of children on women’s labour supply and earnings in the UK: evidence using twin births

Silles, Mary A.

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Abstract

The objective of this paper is to investigate the effect of children on women’s labour supply and earnings for the United Kingdom. Estimating the causal relationship between family size and economic status is complicated because the same factors that increase family size may also affect the labour market outcomes of women. The birth of twins is used as an instrument to address this problem. Among women with children under age 13, the IV estimates indicate that a larger family induced by a twin birth adversely affects women’s labour supply and earnings. Among women with older children, the IV results show no evidence of a causal effect, despite significant OLS relationships. Finally, we compare these results to estimates produced using a twins’ sex composition instrument. Estimates using this instrument are very close to the estimates using twin births and imply that the labour market consequences of childbearing disappear over time.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2016
Journal Oxford economic papers
Print ISSN 0030-7653
Electronic ISSN 1464-3812
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 68
Issue 1
Pages 197-216
Institution Citation Silles, M. A. (2016). The impact of children on women’s labour supply and earnings in the UK: evidence using twin births. Oxford economic papers, 68(1), 197-216. https://doi.org/10.1093/oep/gpv055
DOI https://doi.org/10.1093/oep/gpv055
Keywords Fertility; Time allocation and labour supply; Family planning; Child care; Children; Youth
Publisher URL http://oep.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/08/11/oep.gpv055.full
Additional Information This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Oxford economic papers following peer review. The version of record Mary A. Silles; The impact of children on women’s labour supply and earnings in the UK: evidence using twin births, Oxford Economic Papers, Volume 68, Issue 1, 1 January 2016, Pages 197–216, https://doi.org/10.1093/oep/gpv055 is available online at: https://academic.oup.co.../doi/10.1093/oep/gpv055

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