DP13732 Motherhood Timing and the Child Penalty: Bounding the Returns to Delay
We use administrative data from Austria to analyze labor market returns to delaying motherhood. We exploit delays due to pregnancy loss to provide bounds on the returns that account for imperfect instruments and selection into the sample for mothers that suffer a loss. Our results suggest small effects of delay on earnings, employment, and firm quality--- in contrast with the prior literature. The lower bounds suggest little difference in earnings trajectories around the first birth. This raises the possibility that much of the return may come from delaying the "child penalty" rather than changing how the career responds to children.