Volume 43 - Article 25 | Pages 707–744 Author has provided data and code for replicating results

Women's employment and fertility in a global perspective (1960–2015)

By Julia Behrman, Pilar Gonalons-Pons

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter

 

 
Date received:16 Dec 2019
Date published:03 Sep 2020
Word count:6644
Keywords:employment, families, fertility, gender, global trends, reproductive health
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2020.43.25
Additional files:readme.43-25 (text file, 2 kB)
 demographic-research.43-25 (zip file, 36 MB)
 

Abstract

Background: Scant research explores the association between women's employment and fertility on a truly global scale due to limited cross-national comparative standardized information across contexts.

Methods: This paper compiles a unique dataset that combines nationally representative country-level data on women's wage employment from the International Labor Organization with fertility and reproductive health measures from the United Nations and additional information from UNESCO, OECD, and the World Bank. This dataset is used to explore the linear association between women's employment and fertility/reproductive health around the world between 1960 and 2015.

Results: Women's wage employment is negatively correlated with total fertility rates and unmet need for family planning and positively correlated with modern contraceptive use in every major world region. Nonetheless, evidence suggests that these findings hold for nonagricultural employment only.

Contribution: Our analysis documents the linear association between women's employment and fertility on a global scale and widens the discussion to include reproductive health outcomes as well. Better understanding of these empirical associations on a global scale is important for understanding the mechanisms behind global fertility change.

Author's Affiliation

Julia Behrman - Northwestern University, United States of America [Email]
Pilar Gonalons-Pons - University of Pennsylvania, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» An exploration of differences in ideal family size between Muslim and non-Muslim women in France
Volume 41 - Article 22

» The relationship between women's paid employment and women's stated son preference in India
Volume 36 - Article 52

» Out of Sync? Demographic and other social science research on health conditions in developing countries
Volume 24 - Article 2

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» A new family equilibrium? Changing dynamics between the gender division of labor and fertility in Great Britain, 1991–2017
Volume 40 - Article 50    | Keywords: fertility, gender

» Does moving for family nest-building inhibit mothers' labour force (re-)entry?
Volume 40 - Article 7    | Keywords: employment, fertility

» Weak support for a U-shaped pattern between societal gender equality and fertility when comparing societies across time
Volume 40 - Article 2    | Keywords: fertility, gender

» Birth and employment transitions of women in Turkey: The emergence of role incompatibility
Volume 39 - Article 46    | Keywords: employment, fertility

» Gender differences and similarities in the educational gradient in fertility: The role of earnings potential and gender composition in study disciplines
Volume 39 - Article 13    | Keywords: fertility, gender