Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Fertility and Female Employment: A Panel Study on Developing Countries

Emara, Noha (2015): Fertility and Female Employment: A Panel Study on Developing Countries.

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The study analyzes the effect of female employment on fertility rate. Using panel fertility regression specification with Prais-Winsten regressions procedure, panel-corrected standard errors, and autoregressive errors on a sample of 29 developing countries over the period 1990-2011, the study estimates the effect of female labor participation on fertility rate. To pick up country-specific factors, using the principal component analysis, the study estimates a family policy index that consists of three important family policy variables including: Duration of paid leave for mothers (weeks), wage replacement of paid leave for mothers (%), and length of breast feeding coverage (years). Furthermore, to pick up fixed effects and time effects, the study includes geographic location (latitude) and time effects. The empirical results confirm the finding of Engelhardt and Prskawetz (2005) that the increase in female labor force participation rate has a negative impact on fertility and that this negative effect is decreasing over time. Also, the results suggest that more flexible policies toward family planning such as longer duration of paid leave for mothers, higher percentage of wage replacement of paid leave for mothers, and longer breast feeding coverage help in increasing fertility. Finally, in line with Pampel (2001), Kogel (2004) and Engelhardt and Prskawetz (2005) the study finds that time trend affects this negative relationship between female labor participation and fertility where the negative impact of the former on the latter decreases over time.

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