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The power of time: The impact of free IVF on Women’s human capital investments

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  • Gershoni, Naomi
  • Low, Corinne

Abstract

Women’s time-limited fertility window, compared to men’s longer period of fecundity, could be a key constraint in shaping the gender gap in career choices and hence outcomes. Israel’s 1994 policy change that made in-vitro fertilization free provides a natural experiment for examining how fertility time horizons impact women’s investment choices. We find that following the policy change women complete more college and graduate education. We then present evidence suggesting that these larger investments contributed to better labor market outcomes, reducing the gender gap in career achievement. This further implies that persistent labor market inequality may be partly rooted in biological asymmetries.

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  • Gershoni, Naomi & Low, Corinne, 2021. "The power of time: The impact of free IVF on Women’s human capital investments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:133:y:2021:i:c:s0014292120302750
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103645
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gender gap; Human capital; Fecundity; Career choice; Assisted reproductive technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior

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