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The timing of maternity in the Netherlands

Abstract

In this paper the timing of maternity is estimated by a hazard model. The novel aspect of this paper is that it is shown that wages and total household labor income have a significant effect on the timing of maternity. Both the wage rate of the woman and the wage rate of the husband have a negative effect on the timing of maternity. Total household labor income increases the probability of having a child at an earlier age. Calculated elasticities show that the timing of maternity is relatively elastic with respect to wage rates. However, the elasticities of the decision whether or not to have children altogether are much smaller. Women working in the labor market delay the timing of maternity compared to non-participating women. Attending school has the same effect. Until the age of 28 the maternity hazard increases with age, after that it decreases.

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We benefited from comments on previous drafts by Siv Gustafsson, Joop Hartog, Peter Kee, Herriette Maassen van den Brink, Eddie Mekkelholt, Joop Odink, Hessel Oosterbeek, Hans van Ophem, Gusta Renes, Andre Voskamp, two anonymous referees, and the Managing Editor of this Journal. This paper is a revised version of a paper presented at the third annual meeting of the European Society for Population Economics, Paris, June 1989. The usual disclaimer applies.

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Groot, W., Pott-Buter, H.A. The timing of maternity in the Netherlands. J Popul Econ 5, 155–172 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00168274

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00168274

Keywords

  • Labor Market
  • Hazard Model
  • Wage Rate
  • Labor Income
  • Total Household