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Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?

  • Tomas Kögel

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

Recent literature finds that in OECD countries the cross-country correlation between the total fertility rate and the female labor force participation rate, which until the beginning of the 1980s had a negative value, has since acquired a positive value. This result is (explicitly or implicitly) often interpreted as evidence for a changing sign in the time-series association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries. This paper shows that the time-series association between fertility and female employment does not demonstrate a change in sign. Instead, the reversal in the sign of the cross-country correlation is most likely due to a combination of two elements: First, the presence of unmeasured country-specific factors and, second, country-heterogeneity in the magnitude of the negative time-series association between fertility and female employment. However, the paper does find evidence for a reduction in the negative time-series association between fertility and female employment after about 1985.

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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2001-034.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2001-034
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  1. Esping-Andersen, Gosta, 1999. "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198742005.
  2. Galor, Oded & Weil, David, 1995. "The Gender Gap, Fertility and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Harris, Richard D. F. & Tzavalis, Elias, 1999. "Inference for unit roots in dynamic panels where the time dimension is fixed," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 201-226, August.
  4. Baltagi, Badi H. & Wu, Ping X., 1999. "Unequally Spaced Panel Data Regressions With Ar(1) Disturbances," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(06), pages 814-823, December.
  5. Granger, C. W. J. & Newbold, P., 1974. "Spurious regressions in econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 111-120, July.
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