WIDER Seminar Series

Sandra Halvorsen on factory employment and fertility decisions

WIDER Seminar Series

Sandra Halvorsen will present at the WIDER Seminar Series on 27 March 2019. 

Abstract – Factory employment and fertility decisions: Field experimental evidence from Ethiopia

Female labor force participation and fertility rates are often found to be negatively correlated. The relationship is, however, highly endogenous and causal evidence for this claim is nearly non-existent. In this paper we use a randomized field experiment to examine the causal effect of formal employment on women’s fertility choices. The experiment was implemented in the growing industry of light-manufacturing in Ethiopia. Due to oversupply of applicants, entry-level candidates were randomized to either receive a job offer or to serve in a control group. The sample consists of more than 1500 married women who are followed through three survey waves over twelve months. We find that assignment to treatment increases the likelihood of pregnancy and that the effect is driven by non-compliers (women who were offered a job but declined the offer). The job did not change preferred lifetime fertility, the use of contraceptive methods, nor household decision-making power.

About the speaker

Sandra Halvorsen is a PhD candidate in Economics at the Norwegian School of Economics and Chr. Michelsen Institute. Currently she is visiting Helsinki Graduate School of Economics. Her research interests lie in sustainable development and household economics. Using field experiments, her current work focuses on female labor supply and household decision-making in Ethiopia.  

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases recent and ongoing work on key topics in development economics. The weekly sessions held in Helsinki are open to local and visiting researchers, policy makers, and others interested in development topics. Click here to learn more.

Seminars will be live streamed on Facebook and recordings and presentations will be available after the event here.

For more information email richardson@wider.unu.edu