Despite the growing incidence of cesarean deliveries (CDs), procedure costs and benefits continue to be controversially discussed. In this study, we identify the effects of CDs on subsequent fertility and maternal labor supply by exploiting the fact that obstetricians are less likely to undertake CDs on weekends and public holidays and have a greater incentive to perform them on Fridays and days preceding public holidays. To do so, we adopt high-quality administrative data from Austria. Women giving birth on different days of the week are pre-treatment observationally identical. Our instrumental variable estimates show that a non-planned CD at parity 0 decreases lifecycle fertility by almost 13.6%. This reduction in fertility translates into a temporary increase in maternal employment.

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Journal of Health Economics
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Halla, M. (Martin), Mayr, H. (Harald), Pruckner, G.J. (Gerald J.), & García-Gómez, M.P. (2020). Cutting fertility? Effects of cesarean deliveries on subsequent fertility and maternal labor supply. Journal of Health Economics, 72. doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2020.102325