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Fertility and Female Labor Force Participation: Causal Evidence from Urban China

  • He, Xiaobo
  • Zhu, Rong

Using population census data, this paper examines the causal effect of childbearing on married women's labor force participation in urban China. To ameliorate the endogeneity of fertility, we exploit twin births as the instrument for the number of children. While the ordinary least squares estimates indicate that having one more child reduces female labor force participation by 6.7% and 8.5% in 1990 and 2000 respectively, the instrumental variable estimates suggest very small and insignificant effects for both years.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44552.

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Date of creation: 29 Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44552
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  1. Liu, Qian, 2012. "Unemployment and labor force participation in urban China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 18-33.
  2. Jaisri Gangadharan & Joshua Rosenbloom & Joyce Jacobson & James Wishart Pearre III, 1996. "The Effects of Child-Bearing on Married Women's Labor Supply and Earnings: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 5647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Cruces, Guillermo & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "Fertility and female labor supply in Latin America: New causal evidence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 565-573, June.
  4. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mishra, Vinod & Smyth, Russell, 2010. "Female labor force participation and total fertility rates in the OECD: New evidence from panel cointegration and Granger causality testing," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 48-64, January.
  6. Margaret Maurer-Fazio & Rachel Connelly & Lan Chen & Lixin Tang, 2011. "Childcare, Eldercare, and Labor Force Participation of Married Women in Urban China, 1982–2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(2), pages 261-294.
  7. Li, Hongbin & Zhang, Junsen & Zhu, Yi, 2007. "The Quantity-Quality Tradeoff of Children in a Developing Country: Identification Using Chinese Twins," IZA Discussion Papers 3012, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769, 01-2013.
  10. Cáceres-Delpiano, Julio, 2008. "Keeping the best for last. Impact of fertility on mother's employment. Evidence from developing countries," UC3M Working papers. Economics we086832, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
  11. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  12. Frank Kleibergen & Richard Paap, 2003. "Generalized Reduced Rank Tests using the Singular Value Decomposition," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-003/4, Tinbergen Institute.
  13. Wei, Zheng & Hao, Rui, 2010. "Demographic structure and economic growth: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 472-491, December.
  14. Hyunbae Chun & Jeungil Oh, 2002. "An instrumental variable estimate of the effect of fertility on the labour force participation of married women," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(10), pages 631-634.
  15. Yong Cai, 2008. "An assessment of China’s fertility level using the variable-r method," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 45(2), pages 271-281, May.
  16. Jorge M. Aguero & Mindy S. Marks, 2008. "Motherhood and Female Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Infertility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 500-504, May.
  17. Haoming Liu, 2014. "The quality–quantity trade-off: evidence from the relaxation of China’s one-child policy," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 565-602, April.
  18. Bronars, Stephen G & Grogger, Jeff, 1994. "The Economic Consequences of Unwed Motherhood: Using Twin Births as a Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1141-56, December.
  19. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & PearceIII, James Wishart & Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 2001. "The effects of child-bearing on women's marital status: using twin births as a natural experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-138, January.
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