Total fertility rate Female labour force participation rate Purchased child care Female unemployment
Recent literature shows the puzzling result of a positive and significant cross-country correlation between the total fertility rate and the female labour force participation rate across Western European countries. The present paper shows that this cross-country correlation becomes negative and significant, once one corrects the total fertility rate for a distortion, caused by an increasing age of childbearing, and controls in cross-country regressions for purchased child care use and female long-term unemployment. This result survives an empirical analysis in which the female labour force participation rate is treated as an endogenous variable.
This working paper is also available at: http://ideas.repec.org/p/lbo/lbowps/2006_11.html.