The negative association between fertility and female labour supply is complicated by the endogeneity of fertility. We address this problem by using an exogenous variation in family size caused by infertility shocks, related to the fact that nature prevents some women from achieving their desired fertility levels. Despite a widely-documented reduction of female labour supply around childbirth, using the SHIW we find that this effect dissipates over time, with some signs of penalties relating to job quality and careers. Results are confirmed by exploiting the Birth Survey, with insights of a different impact according to the age of the child.
participation children motherhood female employment rate Italy