Jobs and Kids: Female Employment and Fertility in Rural China

45 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2010 Last revised: 29 May 2023

See all articles by Hai Fang

Hai Fang

University of Miami

Karen Eggleston

Stanford University - Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC)

John A. Rizzo

Stony Brook University - Department of Economics and Department of Preventative Medicine

Richard J. Zeckhauser

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2010

Abstract

Data on 2,355 married women from the 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey are used to study how female employment affects fertility in China. China has deep concerns with both population size and female employment, so the relationship between the two should be better understood. Causality flows in both directions. A conceptual model shows how employment prospects affect fertility. Then a well-validated instrumental variable isolates this effect. Female employment reduces a married woman's preferred number of children by 0.35 on average and her actual number by 0.50. Ramifications for China's one-child policy are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Fang, Hai and Eggleston, Karen and Rizzo, John A. and Zeckhauser, Richard J., Jobs and Kids: Female Employment and Fertility in Rural China (April 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w15886, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1586693

Hai Fang (Contact Author)

University of Miami ( email )

Coral Gables, FL 33124
United States

Karen Eggleston

Stanford University - Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center (APARC) ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

John A. Rizzo

Stony Brook University - Department of Economics and Department of Preventative Medicine ( email )

N-637 Social and Behavioral Sciences Building
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

Richard J. Zeckhauser

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1174 (Phone)
617-384-9340 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-1174 (Phone)
617-496-3783 (Fax)

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