Intrahousehold Bargaining and Fertility

Nalina Varanasi, University of Washington

This paper analyzes the impact of female bargaining power on total number of births using the Indonesia Family Life Survey. The measure of power is generated from binary responses to questions on wife’s participation in decision-making within the household. This measure is instrumented using relative wage, types of credit institutes available and relative education in the community. The findings suggest that an increase of one standard deviation in the power measure may decrease the number of births by 0.8 for the full sample of women and by 0.9 for the sub-sample of women with at least one child. Furthermore, this negative effect is stronger for younger women than for older women who are more likely to have completed their childbearing. The estimates suggest that an increase of one standard deviation in power measure may result in a reduction of three births for a 15-year old woman but only one birth for a 27-year old woman.

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Presented in Session 44: Economic Development and the Family