Cornell University

Development Workshop - Rajeev Dehejia

Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 11:40am to 1:10pm

Uris Hall, 494
Central Campus

Rejeev Dehejia
NYU, Wagner

The Effect of Fertility on Mothers' Labor Supply Over the Last Two Centuries - Daniel Aaronson Rajeev Dehejia Andrew Jordan Cristian Pop-Eleches Cyrus Samii Karl Schulze

This paper documents the evolving impact of childbearing on the work activity of mothers. Based on a compiled dataset of 441 censuses and surveys between 1787 and 2015, representing 103 countries and 48.4 million mothers, we document three main findings: (1) the effect of fertility on labor supply is small and typically indistinguishable from zero at low levels of development and economically large and negative at higher levels of development; (2) this negative gradient is remarkably consistent across histories of currently developed countries and contemporary cross-sections of countries; and (3) the results are strikingly robust to identification strategies, model specification, data construction, and rescaling. We explain our results within a standard labor-leisure model and attribute the negative labor supply gradient to changes in the sectoral and occupational structure of female jobs as countries develop.

Event Type

Class/ Workshop




economics, EconSeminar, EconDevelop



Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Heather LaCombe

Contact Phone



Rejeev Dehejia

Speaker Affiliation

NYU, Wagner

Open To

Cornell Economics Community (List Serve Members)

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