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Citation Information

Type Journal Article
Title Estimating the impact of marriage and fertility on the female labor force participation when decisions are interrelated: evidence from urban Morocco
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2003
URL http://www1.luc.edu/orgs/meea/volume5/Assaad.doc
Studying the impact of fertility on the extent of female labor force participation and the form that this participation takes is complicated by the fact that both fertility and participation are potentially endogenous household decisions, requiring simultaneous estimation. Such estimation is further complicated by the need to find appropriate instruments for fertility. Moreover, the timing of marriage (or the probability of being married at a certain age), which is an important determinant of both fertility and participation, may also be endogenous to those decisions. In this paper, we estimate a structural model for labor force participation that distinguishes between different participation states (non-wage work, public wage work, private wage work, and unemployment) and that takes into account the endogeneity of the timing of marriage and fertility. We find that, in urban Morocco, marriage per se is not a constraint on labor force participation, but that it is a constraint on engaging in paid employment in the private sector. The presence of school-age children significantly reduces participation in all types of wage work. Moreover, a woman's own education, as well as that of her father, significantly increase the probability of her participation in the public sector. With the dramatic slowdown in public sector hiring in recent years, these variables are also strong determinants of female unemployment.

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