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An explanation of the positive correlation between fertility and female employment across Western European countries

Recent literature shows the puzzling result of a positive and significant cross-country correlation between the total fertility rate and the female labour force participation rate across Western European countries. The present paper shows that this cross-country correlation becomes negative and significant, once one corrects the total fertility rate for a distortion, caused by an increasing age of childbearing, and controls in cross-country regressions for purchased child care use and female long-term unemployment. This result survives an empirical analysis in which the female labour force participation rate is treated as an endogenous variable.

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File URL: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ec/RePEc/lbo/lbowps/Fertility_puzzle.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Loughborough University in its series Discussion Paper Series with number 2006_11.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:lbo:lbowps:2006_11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU
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Web page: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/sbe/research/economics/index.html

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  1. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-87, June.
  2. Iza Padilla, María Amaya & Ferrero Martínez, Dolores, 2002. "Skill premium effects on fertility and female labor force supply," DFAEII Working Papers 2002-15, University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II.
  3. Adsera, Alicia, 2005. "Where Are the Babies? Labor Market Conditions and Fertility in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1576, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  5. José María Da Rocha & Luisa Fuster, 2003. "Why are Fertility and Female Participation Rates Positively Correlated across OECD countries?," Working Papers 72, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  6. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2005. "Unequal Pay or Unequal employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," CEP Discussion Papers dp0711, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2004. "Fertility, Taxation and Family Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 745-763, December.
  8. Ermisch, John F, 1988. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment," CEPR Discussion Papers 238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2009. "A Pooled Time-Series Analysis on the Relation Between Fertility and Female Employment," European Demographic Research Papers 0501, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna.
  10. Jose Tavares & Tiago Cavalcanti, 2004. "Women Prefer Larger Governments: Female Labor Supply and Public Spending," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 4, Econometric Society.
  11. De Cooman, Eric & Ermisch, John F & Joshi, Heather, 1985. "The Next Birth and the Labour Market: A Dynamic Model of Births in England and Wales," CEPR Discussion Papers 37, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2002. "On the changing correlation between fertility and female employment over space and time," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-052, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  13. Nicole M Fortin, 2005. "Gender Role Attitudes and the Labour-market Outcomes of Women across OECD Countries," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 416-438, Autumn.
  14. Ermisch, John F, 1990. "European Women's Employment and Fertility Again," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 3-18, April.
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