This thesis explores the effect of motherhood on women's wages and labor supply decisions. The first essay investigates the motherhood wage penalty, or the unexplained portion of the wage gap between mothers and non-mothers after controlling for observable characteristics. Rather than a causal effect, the observed penalty could be due to the presence of unobserved heterogeneity, endogeneity, or sample selection that bias OLS estimates. To investigate this, I apply the fixed effects estimator with instrumental variables (FE/IV) to panel data from the NLSY for the years 1988-1998. Using mainly state or local variables as instruments to predict fertility and work experience, I find that the motherhood wage penalty becomes insignificant for both white and black women. This finding is confirmed using when mothers are grouped by education or child's age. In addition, the possibility of selection bias into employment is considered using Wooldridge's (1995) technique for panel data.The first essay investigates the motherhood wage penalty, or the unexplained portion of the wage gap between mothers and non-mothers after controlling for observable characteristics.
|Title||:||Essays on Motherhood, Wages, and Labor Supply|
|Author||:||Katie L. Winder|
|Publisher||:||ProQuest - 2007|