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Do Highly Educated Women Choose Smaller Families?

  • Hosny Zoabi

    (Tel Aviv University)

  • Moshe Hazan

    (Hebrew University)

Conventional wisdom suggests that in developed countries income and fertility are negatively correlated. We present new evidence that between 2001 and 2009 the cross-sectional relationship between fertility and women's education in the U.S. is U-shaped. At the same time, average hours worked increase monotonically with women's education. This pattern is true for all women and mothers to newborns regardless of marital status. In this paper, we advance the marketization hypothesis for explaining the positive correlation between fertility and female labor supply along the educational gradient. In our model, raising children and home-making require parents' time, which could be substituted by services bought in the market such as baby-sitting and housekeeping. Highly educated women substitute a significant part of their own time for market services to raise children and run their households, which enables them to have more children and work longer hours.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 276.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:276
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  1. Delia Furtado Heinrich Hock, 2010. "Low Skilled Immigration and WorkFertility Tradeoffs Among High Skilled US Natives," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 9299538de78f420b985af1fa9, Mathematica Policy Research.
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  3. Oded_Galor, 2004. "From Stagnation to Growth:Unified Growth Theory," Working Papers 2004-15, Brown University, Department of Economics.
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  5. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke, 2001. "Inequality and Growth: Why Differential Fertility Matters," UCLA Economics Working Papers 803, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
  7. Maoz, Yishay David, 2010. "Labor Hours In The United States And Europe: The Role Of Different Leisure Preferences," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(02), pages 231-241, April.
  8. Daniel Chen & Michael Kremer, 1999. "Income-Distribution Dynamics with Endogenous Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 155-160, May.
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  10. Qingyan Shang & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2009. "Opting For Families: Recent Trends in the Fertility of Highly Educated Women," NBER Working Papers 15074, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Patricia Cort�s & Jos� Tessada, 2011. "Low-Skilled Immigration and the Labor Supply of Highly Skilled Women," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 88-123, July.
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