(DP 1979-08) Fertility Behavior and Labor Force Participation: A Model of Lexicographic Choice

Jose Encarnacion, Jr.


This paper sketches a model of choice that is consistent with the observation that a smaller family size is usually associated with female employment and the increasing amount of evidence that fertility rises with family income and the wife's education at relatively low levels of income and education. The model implies that the fertility effects of a decline in child mortality depends on the proportions of families below and above certain income and education threshold values, and the model allows for a fertility decline even before mortality reductions. In effect, it was as if couple's decisions were based on a lexicographic preference function.

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