DP11586 | The Career Costs of Children

Publication Date

10/23/2016

JEL Code(s)

Keyword(s)

Programme Area(s)

Network(s)

Abstract

We estimate a dynamic life-cycle model of labor supply, fertility and savings, incorporating occupational choices, with specific wage paths and skill atrophy that vary over the career. This allows us to understand the trade-o between occupational choice and desired fertility, as well as the sorting both into the labor market and across occupations. We quantify the life-cycle career costs associated with children, how they decompose into loss of skills during interruptions, lost earnings opportunities and selection into more child-friendly occupations. We analyze the long-run effects of policies that encourage fertility and show that they are considerably smaller than short-run effects.