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Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility

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  • Quy-Toan Do
  • Andrei A. Levchenko
  • Claudio Raddatz

Abstract

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-labor or male-labor intensive goods. The main prediction of the model is that countries with comparative advantage in female-labor intensive goods are characterized by lower fertility. This is because female wages, and therefore the opportunity cost of children 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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  • Quy-Toan Do & Andrei A. Levchenko & Claudio Raddatz, 2015. "Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility," NBER Working Papers 21677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21677
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    Cited by:

    1. Cai, Jie & Stoyanov, Andrey, 2016. "Population aging and comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 1-21.
    2. Ben Yahmed, Sarra & Bombarda, Pamela, 2018. "Gender, informal employment and trade liberalization in Mexico," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-028, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Silvio Contessi & Francesca de Nicola & Li Li, 2014. "International trade, female labor and entrepreneurship in MENA countries," Chapters,in: The Economic and Political Aftermath of the Arab Spring, chapter 4, pages 106-140 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Raddatz, Claudio, 2016. "Comparative advantage, international trade, and fertility," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 48-66.
    5. Stephan E. Maurer & Andrei V. Potlogea, 2017. "Male-biased Demand Shocks and Women’s Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Large Oil Field Discoveries," Working Paper Series of the Department of Economics, University of Konstanz 2017-08, Department of Economics, University of Konstanz.
    6. Nouf Alsharif & Sambit Bhattacharyya & Maurizio Intartaglia, 2016. "Economic Diversification in Resource Rich Countries: Uncovering the State of Knowledge," Working Paper Series 09816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    7. Pamela Bombarda & Sarra Ben Yahmed, 2017. "Gender, Informal Employment and Trade Liberalization in Mexico," THEMA Working Papers 2017-03, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    8. Isis Gaddis & Janneke Pieters, 2017. "The Gendered Labor Market Impacts of Trade Liberalization: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 52(2), pages 457-490.
    9. Astghik Mavisakalyan & Yashar Tarverdi, 2017. "Oil and Women: A Re-examination," Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre Working Paper series WP1706, Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School.
    10. Nouf Alsharif & Sambit Bhattacharyya & Maurizio Intartaglia, 2016. "Economic Diversification in Resource Rich Countries: Uncovering the State of Knowledge," Working Paper Series 9816, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    11. repec:eee:eecrev:v:102:y:2018:i:c:p:19-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Pieters, Janneke & Sparrow, Robert, 2017. "Globalization and Social Change: Gender-Specific Effects of Trade Liberalization in Indonesia," IZA Discussion Papers 10552, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    JEL classification:

    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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