Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Demographic Dividend

43 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2007 Last revised: 14 Aug 2010

See all articles by David E. Bloom

David E. Bloom

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

David Canning

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Guenther Fink

Bocconi University

Jocelyn Finlay

Harvard University - Harvard School of Public Health

Date Written: November 2007

Abstract

We estimate the effect of fertility on female labor force participation in a cross-country panel data set using abortion legislation as an instrument for fertility. We find a large negative effect of the fertility rate on female labor force participation. The direct effect is concentrated among those aged 20-39, but we find that cohort participation is persistent over time giving an effect among older women. We present a simulation model of the effect of fertility reduction on income per capita, taking into account these changes in female labor force participation as well as population numbers and age structure.

Suggested Citation

Bloom, David E. and Canning, David and Fink, Guenther and Finlay, Jocelyn, Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation, and the Demographic Dividend (November 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13583, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1027202

David E. Bloom (Contact Author)

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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David Canning

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Guenther Fink

Bocconi University ( email )

Via Sarfatti, 25
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

Jocelyn Finlay

Harvard University - Harvard School of Public Health ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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