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Long run opportunity-costs of children according to education of the mother in the Netherlands


Children claim a large part of the parents' potential resources, particularly their time. Direct time costs arise through the time spent out of the labour force while the children are small, indirect costs are the result of lower investment into human capital. It is demonstrated in this paper that the average opportunity costs of children of lower educated mothers can be higher than those of higher educated mothers.

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The author wishes to thank his colleagues from “de Leerstoel Vergelijkende Bevolkings- en Emancipatie-economie”, especially Siv Gustafsson, John F. Ermisch and two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions on earlier drafts of this paper. The author is also thankful for Mr. and Mrs. van Ingen for their advice on improving the English text. Financial support from the FMO is gratefully acknowledged. Responsible editors: Siv S. Gustafsson, John F. Ermisch.

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Dankmeyer, B. Long run opportunity-costs of children according to education of the mother in the Netherlands. J Popul Econ 9, 349–361 (1996).

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JEL classification

  • J22
  • J13

Key words

  • Childbirth
  • labour force participation
  • human capital