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Fertility and Female Labor Force Participation: Causal Evidence from Urban China

He, Xiaobo and Zhu, Rong (2013): Fertility and Female Labor Force Participation: Causal Evidence from Urban China.

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Abstract

Using population census data, this paper examines the causal effect of childbearing on married women's labor force participation in urban China. To ameliorate the endogeneity of fertility, we exploit twin births as the instrument for the number of children. While the ordinary least squares estimates indicate that having one more child reduces female labor force participation by 6.7% and 8.5% in 1990 and 2000 respectively, the instrumental variable estimates suggest very small and insignificant effects for both years.

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