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Fertility at work: Children and women's labor market outcomes in urban Ghana

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  • Heath, Rachel

Abstract

While it is commonly assumed that fertility decreases female labor supply, I show theoretically that fertility can increase female labor supply if returns to financial inputs in children are sufficiently high compared to returns to time investments. Using six rounds of a panel survey from urban Ghana, I find evidence of countervailing effects behind a net zero effect of young children on women's hours of work: labor supply on the extensive margin drops, but women who remain in the labor force increase their hours in response to a child. Women's labor supply particularly increases in response to a young child if there are older siblings or other adults in the household. By contrast, men's labor supply does not change in response to young children.

Suggested Citation

  • Heath, Rachel, 2017. "Fertility at work: Children and women's labor market outcomes in urban Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C), pages 190-214.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:126:y:2017:i:c:p:190-214
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2016.11.003
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    Cited by:

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    3. Inés Berniell & Lucila Berniell & Dolores de la Mata & María Edo & Mariana Marchionni, 2019. "Gender Gaps in Labor Informality: The Motherhood Effect," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0247, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
    4. Van den Broeck, Goedele & Kilic, Talip, 2019. "Dynamics of off-farm employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A gender perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 81-99.
    5. Akwasi Ampofo & Firmin Doko Tchatoka, 2019. "Reducing Public‐Private Sector Pay Differentials: The Single Spine Pay Policy As A Natural Experiment In Ghana," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 57(1), pages 283-315, January.
    6. Joseph Boniface Ajefu, 2019. "Does having children affect women’s entrepreneurship decision? Evidence from Nigeria," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 843-860, September.
    7. Herrera Catalina & E. Sahn David & M. Villa Kira, 2017. "Working Paper 279 - Teen Fertility and Labor Market Segmentation in Madagascar," Working Paper Series 2396, African Development Bank.
    8. Jorge M. Agüero & Mindy Marks & Neha Raykar, 2020. "Economic Development and the Motherhood Wage Penalty," Working papers 2020-06, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    9. Jonathan Lain, 2019. "Discrimination in a search and matching model with self-employment," IZA Journal of Migration and Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-35, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor supply; Fertility; Children; Gender; Ghana;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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