The Demographic Transition and the Sexual Division of Labor

Rodrigo R. Soares, Bruno L. S. Falcão
2008 Journal of Political Economy  
There have been significant increases in the labor supply of women in the last decades, both in developed and developing countries. Traditional views of this process interpret it as being caused by reduced fertility and increased wages for women in the labor market. This paper suggests that all these changes can be understood as part of a single process of demographic transition, triggered by reductions in mortality. Mortality reductions have important effects on the incentives of individuals
more » ... es of individuals to invest in human capital and to have children. We develop a model where households composed by two members (male and female) decide on their allocation of time, number and quality of children, and human capital investments. The paper shows that gains in adult longevity can lead to reductions in fertility, increases in investments in market human capital, increases in female labor force participation, and reductions in the gender wagegap.
doi:10.1086/596102 fatcat:mnrqbakjqnbgrczkslrra4cdgu