Kids are not Career Killers

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis has recently released a study of 10,000 economists around the world that concludes parents with two or more kids are incredibly work prolific. The study measured the quantity and quality of the economists’ published works, and found that economists with at least two kids outperformed colleagues who are childless or have only one child.

Here are some key outcomes from the study, as reported by  The Wall Street Journal:

2 is better than 1: Mothers in general are more productive that women without children, and women with at least two children are more productive than those with only one. The same holds true for fathers, though men without children are “somewhat more productive than fathers of one child” at the end of their careers.

Productivity is lower when children are younger: – Parents, mothers in particular, lose productivity if kids are 12 years old or younger: “Mothers average a 17.4% loss, while fathers average a 5% loss. A female economist with three children, on average, loses the equivalent of four years of research output by the time her kids become teenagers.”

First-time moms in their thirties and higher are more productive: Women who have their first child before 30 are less productive, while “for older first-time mothers, the effect remains negative, but it is much smaller and lacks statistical significance.”




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