Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women's fertility and labor force dynamics
by Choi, Seulki, Ph.D., The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2009, 100; 3366474
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation consists of three papers on low fertility and its implication. The first two chapters are social demographic studies and the last chapter is a formal demographic study.

The first paper explores the wage gap between mothers and non-mothers, which is called the motherhood wage penalty. Previous researches have focused on the loss of job experience due to motherhood as a key reason of the penalty. On the contrary, this paper focuses on discrimination against motherhood. Using data from the 1982-2006 National Longitudinal Study of Youth with residual analysis, I find that women are experiencing 2% of motherhood wage discrimination per child. It is roughly one-third of the gross motherhood wage gap. I also find that the sizes of the discrimination are different by the location in the occupational hierarchy. Managers/professionals are not suffering from wage discrimination. Whereas, manual workers are suffering from the discrimination, 3% per child. In their gross penalty, 70% could be linked to discriminatory factors. It implies that gender wage discrimination may seem to decrease in spite of continued discrimination against worker-mothers. Instead, discrimination may just be modified or may happen at a different boundary, from women vs. men, to mothers vs. non-mothers.

The second paper studies how women’s hourly wages affect childbearing using data from the 1982-2006 National Longitudinal Study of Youth. The results of discrete time hazard model show that a negative relationship between women’s hourly wage and fertility. But they are not consistent across education levels. Women who have a high school diploma or less are less likely to have children when their wages increase. But women who have some college experience or a college degree are likely to have children when their wages increase. It means that only for highly educated women who are likely to be in high paying decent jobs, the rise of income can be used as a resource for reconciling the mother’s and worker’s roles. Or, for less educated women who are likely to be in the low paying jobs, the rise of income is not large enough to lessen role incompatibility. It also could mean that when their income rises, less educated women have a bigger substitution effect, whereas highly educated women have a bigger income effect.

The third paper explores the recent decline of Total Fertility Rates in South Korea. TFR is composed of the interplay of two components; a change of the number of births (quantum) and the shift of the timing of those births (tempo). But previous research on the fertility decline in Korea has been conducted with a quantum driven perspective, and little has been conducted based on the tempo perspective. Using Bongaarts and Feeney method, I find that adj-TFRs (tempo-free TFRs) do not indicate the declines till 2000, unlike the decline of the conventional period TFR. It suggests that the decline is a tempo-driven phenomenon. After 2000, the size of the tempo effects is shrinking, though still sizable. Adj-TFRs with variance effect show that the tempo effect is somewhat exaggerated.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Mouw, Ted
Commitee: Cohen, Philip N., Guo, Guang, Rindfuss, Ronald R., Zimmer, Catherine
School: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department: Sociology
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Womens studies, Labor relations, Demography
Keywords: Discrimination, Fertility, Korea, Motherhood, Tempo, Wage
Publication Number: 3366474
ISBN: 9781109277593
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