Massimiliano Bratti & Laura Cavalli on Delayed First Birth and New Mothers’ Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Fertility Shocks

Speaker:  Massimiliano Bratti & Laura Cavalli - Università degli Studi di Milano, CHILD & IZA
  Monday, June 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM Aula C, Palazzo di Economia

We investigate the impact of delaying the first birth on Italian mothers’ labor force participation,
number of hours worked, and levels of job satisfaction around childbirth. The effect of
postponing motherhood is identified using fertility shocks, namely the occurrence of miscarriage
or stillbirth. We find that delaying the first birth by one year raises the likelihood of participating
in the labor market by 1.3 percentage points and weekly working time by about 0.6 hours.
However, late mothers show lower levels of job satisfaction concerning wages, working time and
travel distance from home to work. Our estimates are very robust to a number of sensitivity
checks, among which including controls for partners’ characteristics and a proxy for maternal
health status.

Programme Director
Laura Cavalli

Publication date
March 26, 2012