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Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility

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  • Quy-Toan Do

    (The World Bank)

  • Andrei A. Levchenko

    (University of Michigan and NBER)

  • Claudio Raddatz

    (Central Bank of Chile)

Abstract

We analyze theoretically and empirically the impact of comparative advantage in international trade on fertility. We build a model in which industries differ in the extent to which they use female relative to male labor, and countries are characterized by Ricardian comparative advantage in either female- or male-intensive goods. The main prediction of the model is that countries with comparative advantage in female-intensive goods are characterized by lower fertility. This is because female wages, and therefore the opportunity cost of child-rearing are higher in those countries. We demonstrate empirically that countries with comparative advantage in industries employing primarily women exhibit lower fertility. We use a geography-based instrument for trade patterns to isolate the causal effect of comparative advantage on fertility.

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File URL: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers601-625/r624.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 624.

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Length: 45 pages
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Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:624

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Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/
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Related research

Keywords: Fertility; trade integration; comparative advantage; factor endowments;

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References

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  1. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," NBER Working Papers 16718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Qian, Nancy, 2006. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Oded Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2004. "Trading Population for Productivity," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410001, EconWPA.
  5. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," Scholarly Articles 11986333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Matthias Doepke & Moshe Hazan & Yishay Maoz, 2007. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," NBER Working Papers 13707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus brawn: the realization of women's comparative advantage," IEW - Working Papers 491, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  9. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2, July.
  10. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  11. Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez & Jim Airola & Chinhui Juhn, 2010. "Did Trade Liberalization Help Women? The Case of Mexico in the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 16195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2006. "Trade Openness and Volatility," Development Working Papers 219, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  13. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2007. "Comparative advantage, demand for external finance, and financial development," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 796-834, December.
  15. Beyza Ural Marchand & Ray Rees & Raymond Riezman, 2011. "Globalization, Gender and Development: The Effect of Parental Labor Supply on Child Schooling," CESifo Working Paper Series 3341, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Pitt, Mark M. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Hassan, Nazmul, 2010. "Human Capital Investment and the Gender Division of Labor in a Brawn-Based Economy," Working Papers 83, Yale University, Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. Contessi, Silvio & Nicola, Francesca de & Li, Li, 2013. "International trade, female labor, and entrepreneurship in MENA countries," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 89-114.

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