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Female Employment and Fertility in Rural China

  • Fang, Hai
  • Eggleston, Karen N.
  • Rizzo, John A.
  • Zeckhauser, Richard Jay

Data on 2,288 married women from the 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey are deployed to study how off-farm female employment affects fertility. Such employment reduces a married woman’s actual number of children by 0.64, her preferred number by 0.48, and her probability of having more than one child by 54.8 percent. Causality flows in both directions; hence, we use well validated instrumental variables to estimate employment status. China has deep concerns with both female employment and population size. Moreover, female employment is growing quickly. Hence, its implications for fertility must be understood. Ramifications for China’s one-child policy are discussed.

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Paper provided by Harvard Kennedy School of Government in its series Scholarly Articles with number 4449097.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series
Handle: RePEc:hrv:hksfac:4449097
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