Can We Still Learn Something From the Relationship Between Fertility and Mother's Employment? Evidence From Developing Countries Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2012

start page

  • 151

end page

  • 174


  • 1


  • 49

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0070-3370

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1533-7790


  • In this work, I study the impact of fertility on mothers' employment for a sample of developing countries. Using the event of multiple births as an instrumental variable (IV) for fertility, I find that having children has a negative impact on female employment. In addition, three types of heterogeneity are found. First, the magnitude of the impact depends on the birth at which the increase in fertility takes place. Second, the types of jobs affected by a fertility shock (multiple births) are jobs identified with a higher degree of informality, such as self-employment or unpaid jobs. Finally, the heterogeneity analysis reveals that an unexpected change in fertility is stronger at a higher education level of the mother and in urban areas


  • fertility; female labor force participation; developing countries