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Why is fertility on the rise in Egypt? The role of women’s employment opportunities

Caroline Krafft

Journal of Population Economics, 2020, vol. 33, issue 4, No 2, 1173-1218

Abstract: Abstract Can declining employment opportunities for women reverse the fertility transition? This paper presents evidence that the demographic transition has not just stalled but in fact reversed in Egypt. After falling for decades, fertility rates increased. The paper examines the drivers of rising fertility rates, with a particular focus on the role of declining public sector employment opportunities for women. Estimates show the effect of public sector employment on the spacing and occurrence of births using discrete-time hazard models. The paper then uses the results to simulate total fertility rates. The models address the potential endogeneity of employment by incorporating woman-specific fixed effects, incorporating local employment opportunities rather than women’s own employment, and using local employment opportunities as an instrument. Results indicate that the decrease in public sector employment, which is particularly appealing to women, may have contributed to the rise in fertility but is unlikely to be its main cause.

Keywords: Fertility; Female labor supply; Employment and fertility; Egypt; Middle East and North Africa; J13; J16; J21; J22; O12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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Working Paper: Why is Fertility on the Rise in Egypt? The Role of Women’s Employment Opportunities (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1007/s00148-020-00770-w

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