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Fertility and women’s work in a demographic transition: evidence from Peru

Miguel Jaramillo-Baanante
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Miguel Jaramillo-Baanante: Group for the Analysis of Development - GRADE

No 2017-90, Working Papers from Peruvian Economic Association

Abstract: As in other developing countries, Peru’s demographic transition is well underway. Concurrently, women’s labor market participation and employment rates have substantially increased. In this paper we estimate the causal effect that the reduction in fertility rates has on women’s employment using instrumental variables already tested in developed countries—twins in the first birth and the sex composition of the two oldest children. We also analyze the heterogeneity of the effects along three lines: marriage status of the mother, age of the first (second) child, and mother’s education. We find strong effects of fertility. According to our results, 29 percent of the total increase in women’s rate of employment between 1993 and 2007 can be attributed to the reduction in fertility rates. This is a considerable magnitude, more than four times as large as the estimate for US by Jacobsen et al. (1999). Effects are largest in women with children 2 years old or younger and decline inversely as the first child increases in age, but are still significant when she reaches 10. Effects also vary with the mother’s education level, tending to be stronger as women have more education. Finally, these effects are smaller for married women than for all women.

Keywords: Fertility; labor market decisions; female labor; instrumental variables (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev and nep-lab
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