Women, migration and labour markets

Women, Migration and Labour Markets

Mary Silles, Professor of Economics and Head of Economics Subject Group at Northumbria University

Women with more children tend to have lower labour supply and earnings. Why is this? There are two broad explanations. One is a selection story: women with more children would work less even in the absence of their children. Another story is one of causation: childcare will make you a different type of employee, and children will lead to lower labour supply and earnings. Distinguishing between these scenarios is the objective of this study. Using the birth of twins this research carefully examines the impact of children on women’s labour force participation and earnings. The birth of twins is an important innovation to tackle problems that arise because fertility is largely a matter of choice for women in the United Kingdom. This research is interesting because it provides deep insights into women’s labour market behaviour following the transition into parenthood.