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Fertility, household structure, and parental labor supply: Evidence from China

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  • Guo, Rufei
  • Li, Hongbin
  • Yi, Junjian
  • Zhang, Junsen

Abstract

This study examines the effects of fertility on household structure and parental labor supply in China. To solve the endogeneity problem, we use a unique survey on households with twin children and a comparison group of non-twin households. The ordinary least squares estimates show a negative correlation between fertility and parental labor supply in rural China. Using twinning as a natural experiment, we do not find evidence on the negative effects of fertility on parental labor supply. By contrast, we find that the twinning-induced increase in fertility significantly enhances the coresidence of grandparents in rural China. We suggest that the negative effects of fertility on parental labor supply are mitigated by the childcare provided by grandparents in rural China. We also find that fertility does not induce coresidence of grandparents in urban China. Our results have important implications for population and public childcare policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Guo, Rufei & Li, Hongbin & Yi, Junjian & Zhang, Junsen, 2018. "Fertility, household structure, and parental labor supply: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 145-156.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:46:y:2018:i:1:p:145-156
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2017.10.005
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    Cited by:

    1. Öberg, Stefan, 2018. "Instrumental variables based on twin births are by definition not valid (v.3.0)," SocArXiv zux9s, Center for Open Science.
    2. Chen, Cheng & Zhao, Wangyang & Chou, Shin-Yi & Lien, Hsien-Ming, 2021. "The effect of family size on parents' labor supply and occupational prestige: Evidence from Taiwan and Mainland China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    3. 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.
    4. Chu, Yu-Wei Luke & Cuffe, Harold E & Doan, Nguyen, 2021. "Motherhood Employment Penalty and Gender Wage Gap Across Countries: 1990–2010," Working Paper Series 9446, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    5. Pauline Rossi & Yun Xiao, 2020. "Spillovers in Childbearing Decisions and Fertility Transitions: Evidence from China," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 20-031/V, Tinbergen Institute.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; Parental labor supply; Household structure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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