NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Timing and Spacing of Births and Women's Labor Force Participation: An Economic Analysis

Sue Goetz Ross

NBER Working Paper No. 30
Issued in 1974

This dissertation analyzes the timing and spacing of child-births within an economic framework. I have attempted to explain when women in the United States begin child bearing - i.e., the "timing" (of the first birth) - and the length of the interval they spend in child bearing - i.e., the "spacing" of births. Chapter I introduces the topic and reviews some of the relevant literature. In Chapter II, an economic model is developed which predicts that women with a rising price of time over the lifetime will start having their children sooner after finishing school. Those with a high price of time throughout their lifetimes will have their children closer together. The model also predicts that families whose income receipts rise sharply, at least in the early years after the husband enters the labor force, will postpone their first birth and that families with a high lifetime income will have their children farther apart. The data and variables used to test the model's hypotheses are described in Chapter III. Chapters IV and V describe, respectively, the empirical tests of the timing and the spacing hypotheses. The results of an investigation of some relationships between the timing of the various demographic events and labor force participation are reported in Chapter VI. Chapter VII summarizes the theoretical analysis and the empirical results, which generally support the timing and spacing hypotheses.

download in pdf format
   (3058 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (3058 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w0030

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Goldin w1251 Life-Cycle Labor Force Participation of Married Women: Historical Evidence and Implications
Mincer and Polachek Family Investments in Human Capital: Earnings of Women
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us