Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



As many as 20% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage - a random event that any expecting woman is susceptible to, yet the economic effects of this prevalent fertility shock have not been directly studied. In this paper, we use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 (NLSY97) and address a critical empirical question: how do miscarriages affect women's labor market outcomes, such as income and labor supply? We find that a miscarriage is associated with about $2,500 loss in annual income post-loss. Our findings suggest the negative effect on female labor market outcomes associated with a pregnancy loss outweighs any positive effect of delaying childbirth.


fertility, pregnancy loss, miscarriage, income

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.


Author’s submitted manuscript.

Included in

Economics Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.