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Jobs and Kids: Female Employment and Fertility in China

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  • Fang, Hai

    (University of CO, Denver)

  • Eggleston, Karen N.

    (Walter H Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University)

  • Rizzo, John A.

    (Stony Brook University, SUNY)

  • Zeckhauser, Richard J.

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Data on 2,355 married women from the 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey are used to study how female employment affects fertility in China. China has deep concerns with both population size and female employment, so the relationship between the two should be better understood. Causality flows in both directions. A conceptual model shows how employment prospects affect fertility. Then a well-validated instrumental variable isolates this effect. Female employment reduces a married woman's preferred number of children by 0.35 on average and her actual number by 0.50. Ramifications for China's one-child policy are discussed.

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Paper provided by Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government in its series Working Paper Series with number rwp12-054.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:harjfk:rwp12-054

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