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The Fertility and Women's Labor Force Participation puzzle in OECD Countries: The Role of Men's Home Production

Author

Listed:
  • Joost de Laat
  • Almudena Sevilla-Sanz

Abstract

One effect of Southern Europe's rapid fertility decline is the emergence of a positive cross-country correlation between women's labor force participation and fertility across developed countries, despite the continuing negative correlation between these factors within countries. This study uses individual-level data for several OECD countries to examine how men's participation in home production can explain the positive relationship between fertility and women's labor force participation at the cross-country level. It finds that women living in countries where men participate more in home production are better able to combine having children with market work, leading to greater participation in the labor force at relatively high fertility levels. Within each country however, women with higher relative wages continue to have lower fertility and to participate more in the labor force than lower-paid women due to the higher opportunity cost of remaining at home. This finding on men's home production can thus explain the positive cross-country correlation between female labor force participation and fertility.

Suggested Citation

  • Joost de Laat & Almudena Sevilla-Sanz, 2011. "The Fertility and Women's Labor Force Participation puzzle in OECD Countries: The Role of Men's Home Production," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 87-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:17:y:2011:i:2:p:87-119
    DOI: 10.1080/13545701.2011.573484
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:24 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Pignatti, Norberto & Torosyan, Karine & Chitanava, Maka, 2016. "Toothless Reforms? The Remarkable Stability of Female Labor Force Participation in a Top-Reforming Country," IZA Discussion Papers 10440, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Volker Ziemann, 2015. "Towards more gender equality in Austria," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1273, OECD Publishing.
    4. Spitzer, Sonja & Hammer, Bernhard, 2016. "The Division of Labour Within Households: Fractional Logit Estimates based on the Austrian Time Use Survey," MPRA Paper 81791, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Nobuko Nagase & Mary C. Brinton, 2017. "The gender division of labor and second births: Labor market institutions and fertility in Japan," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(11), pages 339-370, January.
    6. Christina Felfe & Natalia Nollenberger & Núria Rodríguez-Planas, 2015. "Can’t buy mommy’s love? Universal childcare and children’s long-term cognitive development," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 28(2), pages 393-422, April.
    7. García-Manglano, Javier & Nollenberger, Natalia & Sevilla, Almudena, 2014. "Gender, Time-Use, and Fertility Recovery in Industrialized Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Salomé Goñi-Legaz & Andrea Ollo-López, 2015. "Factors that Determine the Use of Flexible Work Arrangement Practices in Spain," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 463-476, September.
    9. Christina Boll & Julian Leppin & Nora Reich, 2014. "Paternal childcare and parental leave policies: evidence from industrialized countries," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 129-158, March.
    10. Reich, Nora & Boll, Christina & Leppin, Julian Sebastian, 2012. "Fathers' childcare and parental leave policies: Evidence from Western European Countries and Canada," HWWI Research Papers 115, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    11. Kristen Harknett & Francesco Billari & Carla Medalia, 2014. "Do Family Support Environments Influence Fertility? Evidence from 20 European Countries," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(1), pages 1-33, February.
    12. Sara de la Rica & Lucía Gorjón, 2016. "The impact of family-friendly policies in Spain and their use throughout the business cycle," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-26, December.

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