Waiting as a signal: Why women are delaying fertility?

Wung Lik Ng, Yin Chi Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Gone are the days when women got married and reared children at the age of 20 in developed countries. Nowadays, women are attending college and developing a career just like men. In this paper, we provide an alternative theory on why women choose not to put their early career on hold in order to have a child. Differing from the traditional human capital theory in the literature, we focus on the role of asymmetric information in the job market. We show that under asymmetric information, women have incentives to signal their career commitment. This causes a delay and a decline in fertility and a rise in educational attainment. We also examine different pro-natal policies. We find that policies subsidizing only early fertility are more efficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-479
Number of pages9
JournalEconomic Modelling
Publication statusPublished - 2020 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics


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