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Do Labor Market Opportunities Affect Young Women's Work and Family Decisions? Experimental Evidence from India

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  • Robert Jensen

Abstract

Do labor market opportunities for women affect marriage and fertility decisions? We provided three years of recruiting services to help young women in randomly selected rural Indian villages get jobs in the business process outsourcing industry. Because the industry was so new at the time of the study, there was almost no awareness of these jobs, allowing us in effect to exogenously increase women's labor force opportunities from the perspective of rural households. We find that young women in treatment villages were significantly less likely to get married or have children during this period, choosing instead to enter the labor market or obtain more schooling or postschool training. Women also report wanting to have fewer children and to work more steadily throughout their lifetime, consistent with increased aspirations for a career. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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  • Robert Jensen, 2012. "Do Labor Market Opportunities Affect Young Women's Work and Family Decisions? Experimental Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(2), pages 753-792.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:127:y:2012:i:2:p:753-792
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