IZA DP No. 8396: When Is the Best Time to Give Birth?
published in: Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A, 179(3), 707-725, 2016.
Using Bayesian Markov chain clustering analysis we investigate career paths of Austrian women after their first birth. This data-driven method allows characterizing long-term career paths of mothers over up to 19 years by transitions between parental leave, non-employment and different forms of employment. We, thus, classify women into five cluster-groups with very different long-run career costs of childbearing. We model group membership with a multinomial specification within the finite mixture model. This approach gives insights into the determinants of the long-run family gap. Giving birth late in life may lead very diverse outcomes: on the one hand, it increases the odds to drop out of labor force, and on the other hand, it increases the odds to reach a high-wage career track.