599/2021 Sonia Bhalotra, Atheendar Venkataramani and Selma Walther
We investigate women’s fertility, labour and marriage market responses to large declines in child mortality. We find delayed childbearing, with lower intensive and extensive margin fertility, a decline in the chances of ever having married, increased labour force participation and an improvement in occupational status. This constitutes the first evidence that improvements in child survival allow women to start fertility later and invest more in the labour market. We present a new theory of fertility that incorporates dynamic choices and reconciles our findings with existing models of behaviour.