Date of Award

January 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Economics & Finance

First Advisor

David T. Flynn


This study examines whether there exist consequences to the types of employment that affect family life and structure, specifically if being self-employed affects births when compared to other forms of employment. I hypothesize that self-employed individuals will have fewer children compared to other forms of employment. I include both the female and the male’s form of employment to determine the joint effects of employment status on births. Example of why this may be is the typical self-employed individual may be too busy operating their business to assist in raising children. There may also be financial motives with self-employed individuals needing to sink significant capital resources into the business and therefore unable to afford the costs of having and raising children. In this study, I control for demographic variables such as education attainment, race, native born, earnings, and marital status and focus my discussion on educational attainment and earnings. I specifically look at the Upper Midwest region; because of this my results may differ from other geographical areas that are studied. I find my results are inconclusive because they find inconsistent results. The regression results indicate wage-employed individuals are less likely to have begot a baby in the past twelve months. However, when looking at the crude birth rates self-employment yields fewer children compared to wage-employment.