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The Timing of Childbearing and Female Labor Supply in China

Xinxin Ma and Jingwen Zhang

No 2018-9, CEI Working Paper Series from Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University

Abstract: For decades Chinese married women have delayed conceiving their first child influenced by government birth limitation policies, the improvement of women’s educational attainment and the changes in childbearing preferences. Even though it can be thought that the delayed childbearing may affect female labor supply in China, there are few empirical studies on the issue. Long-term longitudinal survey data from the China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) from 1989 to 2015 is used to conduct an empirical study to investigate the impact of the timing of childbearing on the labor supply (labor participation and irregular work) of Chinese married women. This study employs the random-effects model and the instrumental variables (IV) method to address the heterogeneity and endogeneity problems. The results indicate that the decision to delay childbearing may increase the female labor supply and decrease the probability of women becoming irregular workers. Robustness checks confirm these results.

Keywords: Timing of childbearing; female labor supply; irregular work; work-family conflict; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J16 J22 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-lma and nep-tra
Date: 2018-10
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