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The Importance of Economic Activity, Economic Potential and Economic Resources for the Timing of First Births in Norway

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This hazard model analysis is based on data from a recent sample survey linked with individual income records from the Directorate for Taxation. It demonstrates that work experience strongly increases the rate of entry into parenthood in Norway, a result which has not appeared clearly in previous investigations in other countries. Moreover, the analysis confirms that longer time spent in school is an important explanation for the rising age at first birth. The birth intensity for a single woman decreases as her educational level and income potential improve. Apart from that, variables related to current or prospective women's wages seem to be unimportant. These results suggest that wealth accumulation deserves a central position in the theoretical models, and throw doubt on the notion that costs of childbearing are high for women with a high earning potential. Alternative interpretations are also discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section for Demography and Analysis of Living Conditions, Central Bureau of Statistics, P.B. 8131. Dep., 0033 Oslo, Norway

Publication date: July 1, 1994

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