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Fertility And Mothers’ Labour Force Participation In Rural India


  • Isha Gupta

    (Department of Economics and Management “Marco Fanno” University of Padova, Italy)


This paper estimates the causal effect of having young children aged 0 to 5 years on mothers’ labour force participation in rural India. In order to address the potential endogeneity in the fertility decision, I exploit Indian families’ preference for having sons. I leverage exogenous variation in the gender of older children aged 6+ years as an instrumental variable for having younger children aged 0 to 5 years in the family. IV estimates show that the mothers’ participation is significantly reduced by 9.9% due to the presence of young children aged 0 to 5 years in the household, with the negative effect mostly driven by mothers belonging to the highest income quartile; mothers with high education; and mothers residing in nuclear families.

Suggested Citation

  • Isha Gupta, 2020. "Fertility And Mothers’ Labour Force Participation In Rural India," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0267, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0267

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    More about this item


    Female labour force participation; Fertility; Instrumental variable; Local average treatment effect (LATE); India; Compliers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation

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