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

He, Xiaobo and Zhu, Rong (2015): Fertility and Female Labour Force Participation: Causal Evidence from Urban China. Forthcoming in: Manchester School

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Abstract

Using population census data, this paper examines the causal effect of a second child on married women's labour force participation in urban China. To ameliorate the endogeneity of fertility, we exploit twin births as the source of variation in fertility. While the ordinary least squares estimates indicate that having one more child significantly reduces female labour force participation by around 6 and 9 percentage points in 1990 and 2000 respectively, our causal analyses suggest very small negative effect in 1990 (around 2 percentage points) and insignificant effect in 2000.

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