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Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility

Quy-Toan Do (), Andrei Levchenko and Claudio Raddatz

No 624, Working Papers from Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan

Abstract: We analyze theoretically and empirically the impact of comparative advantage in international trade on fertility. We build a model in which industries differ in the extent to which they use female relative to male labor, and countries are characterized by Ricardian comparative advantage in either female- or male-intensive goods. The main prediction of the model is that countries with comparative advantage in female-intensive goods are characterized by lower fertility. This is because female wages, and therefore the opportunity cost of child-rearing are higher in those countries. We demonstrate empirically that countries with comparative advantage in industries employing primarily women exhibit lower fertility. We use a geography-based instrument for trade patterns to isolate the causal effect of comparative advantage on fertility.

Keywords: Fertility; trade integration; comparative advantage; factor endowments (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F16 J13 O11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2012-02-15
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http://www.fordschool.umich.edu/rsie/workingpapers/Papers601-625/r624.pdf

Related works:
Journal Article: Comparative advantage, international trade, and fertility (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Comparative Advantage, International Trade, and Fertility (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: Comparative advantage, international trade, and fertility (2014) Downloads
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