Employment and Earnings across the Transition to Fatherhood: A Life Course Perspective

Matthew Weinshenker, Fordham University

Existing studies support the hypotheses that married fathers are likely to work longer hours for pay than their childless counterparts, and to earn more money. In this study, I draw upon the life course perspective in asking whether married men respond to becoming fathers for the first time in the same way regardless of the age at which fertility takes place. Fitting fixed effects models to data from the NLSY79, I test several competing hypotheses particularly focused upon delayed fathers, or those who become first-time parents in their thirties and after. Preliminary findings suggest that while delayed fathers’ employment and earnings are not affected by parenthood, there is a significant (but small) disjunction among older men based on their attitudes toward gender egalitarianism. The results appear to have implications for the study of work-family linkages and for discussions of delayed fathers and the “new fatherhood”.

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Presented in Session 48: Work and Family: A Father's Perspective