Motherhood Penalty and Fatherhood Premium? Gender Disparities of Fertility Effects in China

Zheng Mu, University of Michigan
Yu Xie, University of Michigan

“Motherhood penalty” and “fatherhood premium” regarding labor market outcomes have been established by an array of empirical studies. However, validity of the fertility effects has been controversial due to the potential selection bias. Moreover, fertility effects on subjective outcomes are also crucial while receiving limited attention. China’s exemption policy to the one-child policy that couples whose first child is a girl can have a second child makes gender of the first child a powerful instrumental variable (IV). Based on the IV approach, this paper examines the gender-specific fertility effects on parents’ time use, income and subjective well-being outcomes, using the nationally-representative 2010 Chinese Family Panel Study (CFPS). Results show that with more children, fathers spend significantly more time working and less time taking care of family members. Mothers, on the other hand, report better subjective well-being. That is, we find premiums for both fathers and mothers and penalty for neither.

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Presented in Session 217: Happiness, Parenting, and Childbearing