Using the ECHP, we explored the determinants of having the first child in Spain. Our main goal was to study the relation between female wages and the decision to enter motherhood. Since the offered wage of non-working women is not observed, we estimate it and impute a potential wage to each woman (working and non-working). This potential wage enable us to investigate the effect of wages (the opportunity cost of time non-worked and dedicated to children) on the decision to have the first child, for both workers and non-workers. Contrary to previous results, we found that female wages are positively related to the likelihood of having the first child. This result suggests that the income effect overcomes the substitution effect when non-participants opportunity cost is also taken into account.
Motherhood, wage, opportunity cost, income effect, substitution effect
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