Skill premium effects on fertility and female labor force supply
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In the last twenty years the United States has seen a positive relationship between female labor supply and total fertility rates, which differs from the pattern observed over the preceding years. We construct a general equilibrium overlapping generations model capable of generating this changing relationship between fertility and female labor supply. We argue that skilled biased technological change in recent decades has increased the skill premium and has therefore decreased the relative cost of (unskilled) child care services. The positive effect of the increase in female mean wages on fertility rates, and the inducement for labor force participation provided by the reduction in the relative cost of child care services, generated the positive relationship between fertility rates and female labor force participation in the last two decades.