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Fertility at work: Children and women's labor market outcomes in urban Ghana

Rachel Heath

Journal of Development Economics, 2017, vol. 126, issue C, 190-214

Abstract: While it is commonly assumed that fertility decreases female labor supply, I show theoretically that fertility can increase female labor supply if returns to financial inputs in children are sufficiently high compared to returns to time investments. Using six rounds of a panel survey from urban Ghana, I find evidence of countervailing effects behind a net zero effect of young children on women's hours of work: labor supply on the extensive margin drops, but women who remain in the labor force increase their hours in response to a child. Women's labor supply particularly increases in response to a young child if there are older siblings or other adults in the household. By contrast, men's labor supply does not change in response to young children.

Keywords: Labor supply; Fertility; Children; Gender; Ghana (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J22 O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:126:y:2017:i:c:p:190-214