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The power of time: The impact of free IVF on Women’s human capital investments

Naomi Gershoni and Corinne Low

European Economic Review, 2021, vol. 133, issue C

Abstract: Women’s time-limited fertility window, compared to men’s longer period of fecundity, could be a key constraint in shaping the gender gap in career choices and hence outcomes. Israel’s 1994 policy change that made in-vitro fertilization free provides a natural experiment for examining how fertility time horizons impact women’s investment choices. We find that following the policy change women complete more college and graduate education. We then present evidence suggesting that these larger investments contributed to better labor market outcomes, reducing the gender gap in career achievement. This further implies that persistent labor market inequality may be partly rooted in biological asymmetries.

Keywords: Gender gap; Human capital; Fecundity; Career choice; Assisted reproductive technology (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D1 J13 J16 J22 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103645

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