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Author: Ehrlich, Lisa Marie
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1. Ehrlich, Lisa Marie
Women's Career Orientation, Labor Supply and Fertility Behavior
Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1984. DAI-A 45/07, p. 2212, Jan 1985
Cohort(s): Young Women
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Behavior; Fertility; Heterogeneity; Labor Force Participation; Modeling, Probit; Occupational Aspirations; Sex Roles; Simultaneity

The central issue in this thesis is whether 'career oriented' women respond differently from 'traditional' women in their childbearing and labor supply behavior to changes in exogenous variables such as wages and husband's income. To the extent that they do, and to the extent that more women are becoming career oriented, economic and demographic forecasts based on traditional models of women's labor supply and fertility behavior may be in error. This is an empirical dissertation with a two-stage model, using the National Longitudinal Survey of Young Women. The first stage estimates a woman's degree of career orientation using data on early preferences and desired occupation. This stage of the model draws upon the Mincer and Polachek approach to women's occupational choice. In the second stage I estimate the reduced form of a simultaneous model of women's labor force participation and fertility, while controlling specifically for heterogeneity of preferences over family and career. Estimation is done separately for different groups of women separated by degree of career orientation, and also for the sample as a whole, using slope dummies on exogenous variables such as husband's income to test directly for differences in response. Hours of work are estimated using a Tobit model to correct for truncation at zero, while the fertility equation is estimated using ordered Probit on children ever born. Results are also reported for Ordinary Least Squares estimates. The results of this reseach are extremely robust in finding suprisingly little differences in fertility response among different types of women. The labor supply response of career women is found to be more elastic with respect to wage rates than that of traditional women. These findings suggest that standard economic models of fertility, so long as they incorporate socioeconomic status and race variables, are broadly applicable and not merely appropriate for modeling the behavior of traditional women. However, it is clear that career orientation plays an important role in the wage elasticity of women's labor supply behavior.
Bibliography Citation
Ehrlich, Lisa Marie. Women's Career Orientation, Labor Supply and Fertility Behavior. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1984. DAI-A 45/07, p. 2212, Jan 1985.