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Fertility and Productivity

Fertility and Productivity November 7, 2014

A recent report on research by the Federal Reserve of St Louis found that “Over the course of a 30-year career, mothers outperformed women without children at almost every stage of the game. In fact, mothers with at least two kids were the most productive of all.”

The results were the same for both men and women. According to a Washington Post piece, the researchers found that “For men, fathers of one child and those without children performed similarly throughout much of their careers. But men with two or more kids were more productive than both groups. . . . The effect for women was even more dramatic. Using their own method for analyzing research publications, the authors found that within the first five or so years of their career, women who never have children substantially underperform those who do.”

The research may be “counterintuitive,” but anyone with kids knows it’s accurate. Like marriage, parenthood focuses attention and forces efficiency in time management. Probably more importantly, parenthood, like marriage, settles, and no one is  less productive than the unsettled.


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