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Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility

  • Quy-Toan Do

    (The World Bank)

  • Andrei A. Levchenko

    (University of Michigan and NBER)

  • Claudio Raddatz

    (Central Bank of Chile)

We analyze theoretically and empirically the impact of comparative advantage in international trade on fertility. We build a model in which industries differ in the extent to which they use female relative to male labor, and countries are characterized by Ricardian comparative advantage in either female- or male-intensive goods. The main prediction of the model is that countries with comparative advantage in female-intensive goods are characterized by lower fertility. This is because female wages, and therefore the opportunity cost of child-rearing are higher in those countries. We demonstrate empirically that countries with comparative advantage in industries employing primarily women exhibit lower fertility. We use a geography-based instrument for trade patterns to isolate the causal effect of comparative advantage on fertility.

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File URL: http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers601-625/r624.pdf
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Paper provided by Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan in its series Working Papers with number 624.

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Length: 45 pages
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Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:624
Contact details of provider: Postal: ANN ARBOR MICHIGAN 48109
Web page: http://fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/

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  1. Alesina, Alberto Francesco & Giuliano, Paola & Nunn, Nathan, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," Scholarly Articles 11986333, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Accounting for Fertility Decline During the Transition to Growth," UCLA Economics Working Papers 804, UCLA Department of Economics.
  3. Eric V. Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," NBER Working Papers 12926, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2006. "Trade Openness and Volatility," Development Working Papers 219, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  5. 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-.
  6. World Bank, 2012. "World Development Report 2012," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 4391, August.
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  8. 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 450-77, June.
  9. Yishay Maoz & Moshe Hazan & Matthias Doepke, 2008. "The Baby Boom and World War II: A Macroeconomic Analysis," 2008 Meeting Papers 668, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Michelle Rendall, 2010. "Brain versus brawn: the realization of women's comparative advantage," IEW - Working Papers 491, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Oded_Galor & Andrew Mountford, 2004. "Trading Population for Productivity," Working Papers 2004-16, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  13. Beyza Ural Marchand & Ray Rees & Raymond Riezman, 2011. "Globalization, Gender and Development: The Effect of Parental Labor Supply on Child Schooling," CESifo Working Paper Series 3341, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Qian, Nancy, 2006. "Missing Women and the Price of Tea in China: The Effect of Sex-Specific Earnings on Sex Imbalance," CEPR Discussion Papers 5986, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Jeremy Greenwood & Ananth Seshadri, 2002. "The U.S. Demographic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 153-159, May.
  16. James H. Stock & Motohiro Yogo, 2002. "Testing for Weak Instruments in Linear IV Regression," NBER Technical Working Papers 0284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Pitt, Mark M. & Rosenzweig, Mark R. & Hassan, Nazmul, 2010. "Human Capital Investment and the Gender Division of Labor in a Brawn-Based Economy," Working Papers 83, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  18. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2006. "Comparative advantage, demand for external finance, and financial development," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3889, The World Bank.
  19. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2, October.
  20. Ernesto Aguayo-Tellez & Jim Airola & Chinhui Juhn, 2010. "Did Trade Liberalization Help Women? The Case of Mexico in the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 16195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Morrow, Peter M., 2010. "Ricardian-Heckscher-Ohlin comparative advantage: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 137-151, November.
  22. Lorenzo Caliendo & Fernando Parro, 2012. "Estimates of the Trade and Welfare Effects of NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 18508, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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