Women's Work and Timing of Second Birth in the Philippines
Shuang Luo, University of Maryland
Laurie DeRose, University of Maryland
Using work history and birth history data from the 1993 Phillipine DHS, we examine how women's work in the period after first birth affects the timing of their next birth. We thereby overcome some of the data and methodological problems that commonly contribute to doubt regarding whether work has a causal effect on fertility. The Philippines during that period had the highest TFR in Southeast Asia (4.1), low rates of modern sector employment for women, and low modern contraception use. Therefore, the relationship between work and birth spacing in these data can be expected to provide insight regarding the compatibility of work and childbearing in such a setting. The results show that women's work delays second births. However, quick return to paid work results in shorter intervals; there is a non-proportional effect of work at around sixteen month postpartum.