The Demographic Transition and the Sexual Division of Labor

37 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2007 Last revised: 30 Jan 2021

See all articles by Bruno Falcao

Bruno Falcao

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rodrigo R. Soares

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA); Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

This paper presents a theory where increases in female labor force participation and reductions in the gender wage-gap are generated as part of a single process of demographic transition, characterized by reductions in mortality and fertility. The paper suggests a link between changes in mortality and transformations in the role of women in society that has not been identified before in the literature. Mortality reductions affect the incentives of individuals to invest in human capital and to have children. Particularly, gains in adult longevity reduce fertility, increase investments in market human capital, increase female labor force participation, and reduce the wage differential between men and women. Child mortality reductions, though reducing fertility, do not generate this same pattern of changes. The model reconciles the increase in female labor market participation with the timing of age-specific mortality reductions observed during the demographic transition. It generates changes in fertility, labor market attachment, and the gender wage-gap as part of a single process of social transformation, triggered by reductions in mortality.

Suggested Citation

Falcao, Bruno and Soares, Rodrigo R., The Demographic Transition and the Sexual Division of Labor (January 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w12838, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=958490

Bruno Falcao

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Rodrigo R. Soares (Contact Author)

Columbia University - School of International & Public Affairs (SIPA) ( email )

420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV) - Sao Paulo School of Economics ( email )

Rua Itapeva 474 s.1202
São Paulo, São Paulo 01332-000
Brazil

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
36
Abstract Views
1,026
PlumX Metrics