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Keeping the best for last. Impact of fertility on mother's employment. Evidence from developing countries

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  • Julio Cáceres-Delpiano

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Abstract

By using the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data for 42 developing countries this paper studies the impact of fertility on mothers’ employment. In order to solve the problem of omitted variable bias multiple births are used as source of variation in family size. Similarly to previous evidence for developed countries, the findings reveal that family size has a negative impact on female employment. Nevertheless, two types of heterogeneity are exposed. First, the size and sign of the impact depends on the birth at which we study the increase in family size; specifically, a negative impact of fertility is observed at the time of the first birth or in a third and higher births; nevertheless, for some samples (and definitions of mother’s employment) a shift in a second birth might have a positive impact on employment. Second, the types of jobs affected by a change of fertility differ depending on at which margin the shift in fertility takes place. Thus, while for a first birth, more informal jobs, such as unpaid jobs, or jobs that are harder to combine with childbearing (working away from home or seasonal jobs) are the ones impacted by an increase in family size; at higher parities, all type of jobs are affected by the shift in fertility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we086832.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we086832

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Keywords: Fertility; Female labor force participation; Developing countries;

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  1. Sebastian Galiani & Guillermo Cruces, 2005. "Fertility and Female Labor Supply in Latin America: New Causal Evidence," Working Papers 84, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2007.
  2. Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1992. "Marriage, Motherhood, and Wages," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 233-255.
  3. Julian P. Cristia, 2008. "The Effect of a First Child on Female Labor Supply: Evidence from Women Seeking Fertility Services," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 487-510.
  4. Francine D. Blau & Adam J. Grossberg, 1990. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," NBER Working Papers 3536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. V. Joseph Hotz & Susan Williams McElroy & Seth G. Sanders, 2005. "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  7. Sandra E. Black & Paul G. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2004. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Composition on Children's Education," NBER Working Papers 10720, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Junsen Zhang, 2009. "Do Population Control Policies Induce More Human Capital Investment? Twins, Birth Weight and China's "One-Child" Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1149-1174.
  9. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Life-Cycle Labor Supply and Fertility: Causal Inferences from Household Models," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 328-48, April.
  10. Joyce P. Jacobsen & James Wishart Pearce III & Joshua L. Rosenbloom, 1999. "The Effects of Childbearing on Married Women's Labor Supply and Earnings: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 449-474.
  11. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
  12. Kristin Mammen & Christina Paxson, 2000. "Women's Work and Economic Development," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 141-164, Fall.
  13. Julio Cáceres-Delpiano, 2006. "The Impacts of Family Size on Investment in Child Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
  14. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
  15. Blunch, Niels-Hugo & Canagarajah, Sudharshan & Raju, Dhushyanth, 2001. "The informal sector revisited : a synthesis across space and time," Social Protection Discussion Papers 23308, The World Bank.
  16. Jorge M. Aguero & Mindy S. Marks, 2008. "Motherhood and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Infertility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 500-504, May.
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