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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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    4. Aaronson, Daniel & Dehejia, Rajeev & Jordon, Andrew & Pop-Eleches, Cristian & Samii, Cyrus & Schultze, Karl, 2017. "The Effect of Fertility on Mothers’ Labor Supply over the Last Two Centuries," MPRA Paper 76768, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor supply; Fertility; Children; Gender; Ghana;

    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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