DP238 Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment

Author(s): John F Ermisch
Publication Date: March 1988
Keyword(s): Children, Fertility, Labour Supply, Working Women
JEL(s): 841, 921
Programme Areas: Human Resources
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=238

The paper develops a model of family size decisions in which couples choose explicitly a combination of mother's time and purchased child care (e.g. childminders, nannies) for the care and rearing of children. The theoretical model implies that the impact of the mother's wage on her completed fertility varies with the market price of child care, and that this effect increases (becoming less negative or more positive) with the level of her wage. Econometric analysis of British micro-data confirms the main predictions of the model.