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Fertility timing, wages, and human capital

Abstract

Women who have first births relatively late in life earn higher wages. This papers offers an explanation of this fact based on a simple life-cycle model of human capital investment and timing of first birth. The model yields conditions (that are plausibly satisfied) under which late childbearers will tend to invest more heavily in human capital than early childbearers. The empirical analysis finds results consistent with the higher wages of late childbearers arising primarily through greater measurable human capital investment.

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Helpful comments were provided by Claudia Goldin, Paul Taubman, by seminar participants at Baruch College, CUNY Graduate Center, Queens College, Rutgers University, and the University of Pennsylvania, and anonymous referees. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the March 1989 annual meetings of the Population Association of America.

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Blackburn, M.L., Bloom, D.E. & Neumark, D. Fertility timing, wages, and human capital. J Popul Econ 6, 1–30 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00164336

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00164336

Keywords

  • Human Capital
  • Empirical Analysis
  • Capital Investment
  • High Wage
  • Human Capital Investment