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Why is fertility on the rise in Egypt? The role of women’s employment opportunities

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  • Caroline Krafft

    (University of Minnesota
    St. Catherine University)

Abstract

Can declining employment opportunities for women reverse the fertility transition? This paper presents evidence that the demographic transition has not just stalled but in fact reversed in Egypt. After falling for decades, fertility rates increased. The paper examines the drivers of rising fertility rates, with a particular focus on the role of declining public sector employment opportunities for women. Estimates show the effect of public sector employment on the spacing and occurrence of births using discrete-time hazard models. The paper then uses the results to simulate total fertility rates. The models address the potential endogeneity of employment by incorporating woman-specific fixed effects, incorporating local employment opportunities rather than women’s own employment, and using local employment opportunities as an instrument. Results indicate that the decrease in public sector employment, which is particularly appealing to women, may have contributed to the rise in fertility but is unlikely to be its main cause.

Suggested Citation

  • Caroline Krafft, 2020. "Why is fertility on the rise in Egypt? The role of women’s employment opportunities," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 33(4), pages 1173-1218, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:33:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s00148-020-00770-w
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00770-w
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    1. Caroline Krafft & Ragui Assaad, 2020. "Employment’s Role in Enabling and Constraining Marriage in the Middle East and North Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(6), pages 2297-2325, December.
    2. Ragui Assaad & Rana Hendy & Moundir Lassassi & Shaimaa Yassin, 2020. "Explaining the MENA paradox: Rising educational attainment yet stagnant female labor force participation," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 43(28), pages 817-850.
    3. Krafft Caroline & Assaad Ragui & Rahman Khandker Wahedur, 2021. "Introducing the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey 2018," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 12(1), pages 1-40, January.
    4. Krafft Caroline & Assaad Ragui, 2021. "Introducing the Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey 2016," IZA Journal of Development and Migration, Sciendo & Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 12(1), pages 1-42, January.
    5. Elena Ambrosetti & Aurora Angeli & Marco Novelli, 2021. "Childbearing intentions among Egyptian men and women: The role of gender-equitable attitudes and women’s empowerment," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 44(51), pages 1229-1270.

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