Fang, Hai, Karen N. Eggleston, John A. Rizzo, and Richard J. Zeckhauser. "Female Employment and Fertility in Rural China." HKS Faculty Research Working Paper Series RWP10-011 and NBER Working Papers 15886, March 2010.
This paper has been archived. Please see RWP12-054 for the latest revised version. Original abstract: Data on 2,288 married women from the 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey are deployed to study how off-farm female employment affects fertility. Such employment reduces a married woman’s actual number of children by 0.64, her preferred number by 0.48, and her probability of having more than one child by 54.8 percent. Causality flows in both directions; hence, we use well validated instrumental variables to estimate employment status. China has deep concerns with both female employment and population size. Moreover, female employment is growing quickly. Hence, its implications for fertility must be understood. Ramifications for China’s one-child policy are discussed.