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Title:Three essays on the family gap and child education
Author(s):Kwak, Eunhye
Director of Research:Powers, Elizabeth T.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Powers, Elizabeth T.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Thornton, Rebecca; Borgschulte, Mark; Forsythe, Eliza
Department / Program:Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):family economics
family gap
child education
Abstract:This dissertation focuses on two important topics in family economics, the family gap and children’s education. The first two chapters discuss the difference in wages between mothers and non-mothers, known as the family gap or the motherhood wage gap, and the last chapter discusses child education and parenting. In the first chapter, I analyze recent trends in the motherhood wage gap, taking into account heterogeneity in trends across the women’s wage distribution. Using the unconditional quantile regression method, I find that the motherhood wage gap greatly declines in the mid-1990s, especially for high-wage mothers, and mothers who earn below the median wage have experienced a smaller than average convergence of the motherhood wage gap. High-wage mothers earn higher wages than non-mothers, known as the motherhood premium, from the mid-1990s. I also present that the heterogeneous trends in first-birth timing, marriage, and long work hours are major drives of this heterogeneously changing motherhood wage gap. The second chapter focuses on a specific factor which contributes to improving maternal relative wages. I examine how the supply of low-skilled workers affects high-skilled women’s work hours, likelihood of working long hours, and wages by motherhood status. Using the famous “enclave instrument”, I find that an increase in low-skilled workers increases the probability of working long hours and the wage rates of high-skilled native-born women. This positive effect on the likelihood of working long hours is greater for non-mothers than mothers, and the positive effect on wages is greater for mothers. Based on theoretical and empirical analyses, I conclude that an increase in low-skilled labor supply narrows the gender wage gap for high-skilled women as well as improves the relative wage of high-skilled mothers. In the third chapter, we identify the causal effects of children’s school tenure on parenting, using school-entry-age rules. We find that beneficial aspects of parenting, affection and behavioral control, increase with tenure-for-age in a nationally representative sample. These effects are highly heterogeneous with respect to child, maternal, and household characteristics. Effects are most salutary for younger siblings and the effects fade away by middle school. The positive effects of children’s school experience on parenting are larger for low-SES households (low-education, low-income, and single mothers). Based on our findings, we conclude that developing an early education system may generate large collateral benefits by improving parenting and reducing parenting inequality.
Issue Date:2019-04-16
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Eunhye Kwak
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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