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Female Labor Supply and Fertility. Causal Evidence for Latin America

Author

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  • Darío Tortarolo

    (CEDLAS-UNLP)

Abstract

In this paper I study the causal relationship between fertility and female labor supply using census data from 14 Latin American countries and the U.S. over the span of three decades (1980, 1990 and 2000). Parental preferences for a gender-balanced family (mixed-sex children) is exploited as a source of exogenous variation in fertility. Although OLS estimates suggest a statistically signi cant negative relationship in the 39 censuses used, instrumental variables approach fails to identify a causal e ect in most of them. The average e ect of moving from a family with two children to more than two is statistically zero for the group of compliers. Considering a pool of married women from Latin America over the span of three decades, a negative causal e ect is found. In any case, despite having a highly accurate rst-stage and indirect evidence consistent with the internal validity of the instrument, the analysis of the quality of the instrument reveals a weak explanatory power of sibling sex composition on fertility. The noisy and imprecise IV estimates for Latin America in the second-stage can be attributed to the problem of weak instruments.

Suggested Citation

  • Darío Tortarolo, 2014. "Female Labor Supply and Fertility. Causal Evidence for Latin America," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0166, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  • Handle: RePEc:dls:wpaper:0166
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    File URL: http://www.cedlas.econo.unlp.edu.ar/wp/wp-content/uploads/doc_cedlas166.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Willis, Robert J, 1987. "What Have We Learned from the Economics of the Family?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 68-81, May.
    2. Iacovou, Maria, 2001. "Fertility and female labour supply," ISER Working Paper Series 2001-19, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    3. Cruces, Guillermo & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "Fertility and female labor supply in Latin America: New causal evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 565-573, June.
    4. Yoram Ben-Porath & Finis Welch, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307.
    5. Daouli, Joan & Demoussis, Michael & Giannakopoulos, Nicholas, 2009. "Sibling-sex composition and its effects on fertility and labor supply of Greek mothers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 102(3), pages 189-191, March.
    6. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-477, June.
    7. Martin Huber & Giovanni Mellace, 2015. "Testing Instrument Validity for LATE Identification Based on Inequality Moment Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(2), pages 398-411, May.
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    10. Jorge M. Aguero & Mindy S. Marks, 2008. "Motherhood and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Infertility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 500-504, May.
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    13. Hyunbae Chun & Jeungil Oh, 2002. "An instrumental variable estimate of the effect of fertility on the labour force participation of married women," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(10), pages 631-634.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ingco, Katrina Nicole & Pilitro, Ver Lyon Yojie, 2016. "Stuck at a Crossroad: A Microeconometric Analysis of Fertility and Married Female Labor Force Supply in the Philippines," MPRA Paper 73351, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Matias Busso & Dario Romero Fonseca, 2015. "Female Labor Force Participation in Latin America: Patterns and Explanations," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0187, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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