Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Heather Antecol

Rights Information

© 2015 Viraj Shastri


Recent literature finds that in OECD countries the cross- country correlation between the total fertility rate and the female labor force participation rate has changed from negative till the mid-1980s to positive afterwards. In sharp contrast, other studies show that this negative relationship continues to exist, however the magnitude of the effect is lower. In this paper I look at a panel of 23 OECD aggregate fertility and labor market data from 1965 – 2013 and account for country as well as year fixed effects. My findings document that there exists a negative relationship between fertility and female employment for the years 1965 – 1985, as there existed a high level of incompatibility between mother and worker roles at that time. After this time period no relationship between fertility and employment exists. The presence of a number of other country and year specific factors affects the level of labor force participation and fertility decisions of a woman. When accounted for, the cross-country time-series association between fertility and female employment seems to fade away and does not exist any longer after the mid-1980s.