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Female Work and Fertility in the United States: Effects of Low-Skilled Immigrant Labor

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  • Heinrich Hock

    (Florida State University)

  • Delia Furtado

    (University of Connecticut)

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of low-skilled immigration on the work and fertility decisions of high-skilled women born in the United States. The evidence we present indicates that low-skilled immigration to large metropolitan areas between 1980 and 2000 lowered the cost of market-based household services. Using a novel estimation technique to analyze joint decision making, we find that college-educated native females responded, on average, by increasing fertility and reducing short-run labor force participation. These changes were accompanied by a weakening of the negative correlation between work and fertility, as well as an increase in the proportion of women who both bore children and participated in the labor force. Taken in combination, our estimates imply that the continuing influx of low-skilled immigrants substantially reduced the work-fertility tradeoff facing educated urban American women.

Suggested Citation

  • Heinrich Hock & Delia Furtado, 2009. "Female Work and Fertility in the United States: Effects of Low-Skilled Immigrant Labor," Working papers 2009-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2009-20
    Note: We are particularly grateful to Mary Ellen Benedict, Karin L. Brewster, Kenneth A. Couch, B. Lindsay Lowell, Stephen L. Ross, Carl P. Schmertmann, Anastasia Semykina, and Thomas W. Zuehlke for valuable feedback on previous versions of this paper. Any remaining errors are our own.
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Child care; fertility; household services; labor supply; immigration;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D10 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - General
    • F22 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Migration
    • 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
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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