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Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Demographic Dividend

Author

Listed:
  • David E. Bloom

    () (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • David Canning

    () (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • Guenther Fink

    () (Harvard School of Public Health)

  • Jocelyn E. Finlay

    () (Harvard School of Public Health)

Abstract

We estimate the effect of fertility on female labor force participation in a cross-country panel data set using abortion legislation as an instrument for fertility. We find a large negative effect of the fertility rate on female labor force participation. The direct effect is concentrated among those aged 20–39, but we find that cohort participation is persistent over time giving an effect among older women. We present a simulation model of the effect of fertility reduction on income per capita, taking into account these changes in female labor force participation as well as population numbers and age structure.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Bloom & David Canning & Guenther Fink & Jocelyn E. Finlay, 2007. "Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Demographic Dividend," PGDA Working Papers 2507, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
  • Handle: RePEc:gdm:wpaper:2507
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    16. David Bloom & David Canning & Günther Fink & Jocelyn Finlay, 2009. "Fertility, female labor force participation, and the demographic dividend," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 79-101, June.
    17. Browning, Martin, 1992. "Children and Household Economic Behavior," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1434-1475, September.
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    19. David N. Weil & Oded Galor, 1999. "From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 150-154, May.
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    23. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Schultz, T Paul, 1985. "The Demand for and Supply of Births: Fertility and Its Life Cycle Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 992-1015, December.
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    26. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
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    28. Alwyn Young, 1995. "The Tyranny of Numbers: Confronting the Statistical Realities of the East Asian Growth Experience," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 641-680.
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    31. Martha J. Bailey, 2006. "More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Life Cycle Labor Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(1), pages 289-320.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility; labor supply; demographic dividend;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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