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

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Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomas Kögel, 2006. "An explanation of the positive correlation between fertility and female employment across Western European countries," Discussion Paper Series 2006_11, Department of Economics, Loughborough University.
  • Handle: RePEc:lbo:lbowps:2006_11
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    File URL: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/ec/RePEc/lbo/lbowps/Fertility_puzzle.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claudia Olivetti & Barbara Petrongolo, 2008. "Unequal Pay or Unequal Employment? A Cross-Country Analysis of Gender Gaps," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(4), pages 621-654, October.
    2. 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.
    3. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
    4. Galor, Oded & Weil, David N, 1996. "The Gender Gap, Fertility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 374-387, June.
    5. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2004. "Fertility, Taxation and Family Policy," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(4), pages 745-763, December.
    6. Cavalcanti, Tiago V. de V. & Tavares, Jose, 2003. "Women Prefer Larger Governments: Female Labor Supply and Public Spending," FEUNL Working Paper Series wp433, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Faculdade de Economia.
    7. Ermisch, John F, 1990. "European Women's Employment and Fertility Again," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(1), pages 3-18, April.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Ermisch, John F, 1988. "Purchased Child Care, Optimal Family Size and Mother's Employment," CEPR Discussion Papers 238, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. 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.
    12. Dolores Ferrero Martínez & Amaia Iza, 2004. "Skill premium effects on fertility and female labor force supply," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(1), pages 1-16, February.
    13. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Matysiak & Daniele Vignoli, 2006. "Fertility and women’s employment: a meta-analysis," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-048, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Total fertility rate; female labour force participation rate; purchased child care; female unemployment.;

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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