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Does Broadband Internet Affect Fertility?

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  • Osea Giuntella

Abstract

The spread of high-speed Internet epitomizes the digital revolution, affecting several aspectsof our life. Using German panel data, we test whether the availability of broadbandInternet influences fertility choices in a low-fertility setting, which is well-known for the difficultyto combine work and family life. We exploit a strategy devised by Falck et al. (2014) toobtain causal estimates of the impact of broadband on fertility. We find positive effects of highspeedInternet availability on the fertility of high-educated women aged 25 and above. Effectsare not statistically significant both for men, low-educated women, and under 25. We alsoshow that broadband access significantly increases the share of women reporting teleworkingor part-time working. Furthermore, we find positive effects on time spent with children andoverall life satisfaction. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that high-speed Internetallows high-educated women to conciliate career and motherhood, which may promotefertility with a “digital divide†. At the same time, higher access to information on the risksand costs of early pregnancy and childbearing may explain the negative effects on youngeradults.

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  • Osea Giuntella, 2017. "Does Broadband Internet Affect Fertility?," Working Paper 6256, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
  • Handle: RePEc:pit:wpaper:6256
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    6. Andrea Geraci & Mattia Nardotto & Tommaso Reggiani & Fabio Sabatini, 2018. "Broadband Internet and Social Capital," MUNI ECON Working Papers 2018-01, Masaryk University, revised Dec 2018.
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    9. Virginia Sanchez Marcos & Ezgi Kaya & Nezih Guner, 2017. "Labor Market Frictions and Lowest Low Fertility," 2017 Meeting Papers 1015, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Niken Kusumawardhani & Rezanti Pramana & Nurmala Saputri & Daniel Suryadarma, 2021. "Heterogeneous impact of internet availability on female labour market outcomes in an emerging economy: Evidence from Indonesia," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2021-49, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    11. Viollaz,Mariana & Winkler,Hernan Jorge, 2020. "Does the Internet Reduce Gender Gaps? : The Case of Jordan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9183, The World Bank.
    12. Emery, Tom & Cabaço, Susana Laia Farinha & Lugtig, Peter & Toepoel, Vera & Lück, Detlev & Naderi, Robert & Schumann, Almut & Bujard, Martin, 2018. "GGP Technical Case & E-Needs," SocArXiv 439wc, Center for Open Science.
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    15. Upendram, Sreedhar & Wilson, Brad & Baxter, Isabella, 2020. "Digital Divide: County Broadband Access in Tennessee," Extension Reports 307220, University of Tennessee, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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    JEL classification:

    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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