nep-lma New Economics Papers
on Labor Markets - Supply, Demand, and Wages
Issue of 2023‒12‒11
twenty-one papers chosen by
Joseph Marchand, University of Alberta

  1. Reaching for gold! The impact of a positive reputation shock on career choice By Daniel Goller; Stefan C. Wolter
  2. International Trade Responses to Labor Market Regulations By Mathilde Muñoz
  3. Estimates of Earnings Returns by Field of Study for For-Profit Schools and Community Colleges By Jepsen, Christopher; Mueser, Peter R.; Troske, Kenneth; Jeon, Kyung-Seong
  4. So, Dear Applicant, Do You Mean Working from Home or Shirking from Home? By Moens, Eline; Verhofstadt, Elsy; Van Ootegem, Luc; Baert, Stijn
  5. To Redistribute or to Predistribute? The Minimum Wage versus Income Taxation When Workers Differ in Both Wages and Working Hours By Aart Gerritsen
  6. Inequality and market power in Latin America and the Caribbean By Eslava, Marcela; García-Marín, Alvaro; Messina, Julián
  7. The Power of Proximity to Coworkers: Training for Tomorrow or Productivity Today? By Natalia Emanuel; Emma Harrington; Amanda Pallais
  8. The effects of Minimum Wage in the presence of Monopsonic power in Latin America: A study case for Mexico By Rodriguez, Francisco Javier Valverde
  9. Skilled Labour Migration and Firm Performance: Evidence from English Hospitals and Brexit By Kai Fischer
  10. Insurance, Redistribution, and the Inequality of Lifetime Income By Peter Haan; Daniel Kemptner; Victoria Prowse; Maximilian Schaller
  11. Low-wage jobs, foreign-born workers, and firm performance By Amuedo Dorantes, Catalina; Arenas-Arroyo, Esther; Mahajan, Parag; Schmidpeter, Bernhard
  12. Late Bloomers: The Aggregate Implications of Getting Education Later in Life By Zsófia L. Bárány; Moshe Buchinsky; Pauline Corblet
  13. Digitalization: the edge of first movers By Cátia Cerqueira; Fernando Alexandre; Miguel Portela
  14. Does Dual Vocational Education and Training Pay Off? By Samuel Bentolila; Antonio Cabrales; Marcel Jansen
  15. The Role of Regulation and Regional Government Quality for High Growth Firms: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly By Amoroso, Sara; Herrmann, Benedikt; Kritikos, Alexander S.
  16. Why is technical change purely labor-augmenting and skill biased in the 20th century? By Li, defu; Bental, Benjamin
  17. Calculating the redistributive impact of pension systems in LAC By Altamirano, Alvaro; Oliveri, María Laura; Bosch, Mariano; Tapia, Waldo
  18. Entering a gender-neutral workplace? College students’ expectations and the impact of information provision By Francesca Barigozzi; José J. Domínguez; Natalia Montinari
  19. Retirement Age Trap: RDD Approach to Terminated Retirement Spells By Linden, Mikael
  20. The effects of labor income risk heterogeneity on the marginal propensity to consume By Savoia, Ettore
  21. Mothers at Peace: International Peacebuilding and Post-conflict Fertility By Bove, Vincenzo; Di Salvatore, Jessica; Elia, Leandro; Nistico, Roberto

  1. By: Daniel Goller; Stefan C. Wolter
    Abstract: We analyze the causal influence a positive reputation shock for a particular occupation may have on career choice. The measure of the positive reputation shock is the unpredictable event that a young adult from one's own country wins a (gold) medal in a particular occupation at the World Skills - the world championship of vocational skills. In an occupation with a gold medal won, searches for apprenticeship vacancies increase significantly by around 7 percent compared to occupations that do not win a competition. In occupations where only a silver or bronze medal is awarded, the effect is also positive and statistically significant, but less pronounced. More importantly, the increase in searches for apprenticeship vacancies in the current year has also led to around 2.5 percent more contracts being signed in the winning occupation, and there are indications that these apprenticeships have a better match between employers and employees (trainees).
    Keywords: role models, reputation shock, career choice, labor supply, apprenticeship
    JEL: I21 J22 J24
    Date: 2023–11
  2. By: Mathilde Muñoz
    Abstract: This paper studies how differences in labor market regulations shape countries' comparative advantage in the cross-border provision of labor-intensive services, using administrative data in Europe for the last two decades. I exploit exogenous variation in labor taxes and minimum wages faced by exporting firms engaged in a large European trade program. Firms from different countries compete to supply the same physical service in the same location but their employees are subject to different payroll taxes and minimum wages. These rules varied across countries, sectors, and over time. Reduced-form country case-studies as well as model-implied gravity estimates show evidence of large trade responses to lower labor taxes and minimum wages, with an elasticity that is around one. The Bolkestein directive, by exempting foreign firms from all labor regulations in the destination country, would have doubled exports of physical services from Eastern European countries, rationalizing the wave of protests in high-wage countries that led to the withdrawal of the proposal.
    JEL: F14 H25 J23 J31 J8
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Jepsen, Christopher (University College Dublin); Mueser, Peter R. (University of Missouri, Columbia); Troske, Kenneth (University of Kentucky); Jeon, Kyung-Seong (University of Missouri-Columbia)
    Abstract: This paper estimates labor-market returns for students pursuing certificates or associate's degrees in eight broad fields of study at community colleges and for-profit institutions. The data contain 400, 000 students beginning their studies between 2005 and 2012 in one state. We estimate two-step models to address recent econometric concerns with two-way fixed effects models. Our analyses show important differences in return by field, with similar patterns for for-profit schools and community colleges. Apart from those studying in health fields, returns are generally greater for those attending for-profit schools than those attending community colleges. Higher estimated overall returns for for-profit schools are not primarily due to differences in areas of study.
    Keywords: postsecondary education, labor-market returns, for-profit schools
    JEL: J24 I26
    Date: 2023–10
  4. By: Moens, Eline (Ghent University); Verhofstadt, Elsy (Ghent University); Van Ootegem, Luc (Ghent University); Baert, Stijn (Ghent University)
    Abstract: Many applicants want a job with the possibility of telework. However, the literature is unclear on whether being explicit about this wish and the reason for it leads to negative consequences on hiring intentions. In this paper we therefore investigate how expressing a desire for telework, for work-life balance and for productivity in particular, impacts the probability of receiving an interview and what it signals to recruiters. To this end, we set up a state-of-the-art vignette experiment in which recruiters evaluate fictitious applicants for different jobs. As a result of this experimental set-up, the answers to our research questions can be interpreted causally, and external validity benefits from the heterogeneity of the jobs. We find that if the desire for work-life balance is the stated motivation, the preference is punished more severely than if the motivation is productivity. Compared to applicants who do not mention a preference for telework, recruiters are 5.1 percentage points less inclined to invite applicants who pronounce this desire for work-life balance to an interview and 2.1 percentage points less inclined to invite applicants for whom the motivation is productivity. Lastly, mentioning a telework preference for work-life balance has a clear negative effect on anticipated achievement striving, commitment, and availability.
    Keywords: telework, interview probability, factorial survey experiment
    JEL: M51 M54 J22 J32 J63 J81
    Date: 2023–10
  5. By: Aart Gerritsen
    Abstract: I consider the case for the minimum wage alongside (optimal) income taxes when workers differ in both wages and working hours, such that a given level of income corresponds to multiple wage rates. The minimum wage is directly targeted at the lowest-wage workers, while income taxes are at most targeted at all low-income workers, regardless of their hourly wage rates. This renders the minimum wage unambiguously desirable in a discrete-type model of the labor market. Desirability of the minimum wage is a priori ambiguous in a continuous-type model of the labor market. Compared to the minimum wage, income taxes are less effective in compressing the wage distribution but more effective in redistributing income. Desirability of the minimum wage depends on this trade-off between the “predistributional advantage” of the minimum wage and the “redistributional advantage” of the income tax. I derive a desirability condition for the minimum wage and write it in terms of empirical sufficient statistics. A numerical application to the US suggests a strong case for a higher federal minimum wage – especially if social preferences for the lowest-wage workers are relatively strong and the wage elasticity of labor demand relatively small.
    Keywords: minimum wage, income taxation, optimal redistribution, multidimensional heterogeneity
    JEL: H21 J38
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Eslava, Marcela; García-Marín, Alvaro; Messina, Julián
    Abstract: Firms’ market power may exacerbate income inequality. We investigate this relationship among firms in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), where this phenomenon remains understudied. We use firm-level data for formal firms in 16 countries in LAC and 31 peer economies with similar levels of GDP per capita but much less inequality. We study 1) The extent and dispersion of market power among LAC’s firms compared to firms in peer economies; 2) the relationship between market power and the labor share of revenue at the firm level; and 3) the implications of that relationship for the aggregate labor share of income, which depends on the joint distribution (across firms) of market power, the labor share, and firms’ size. Markups (markdowns) measure product (labor) market power. Our results indicate that the average markup in the region is 20 percent above marginal costs, while average wages are 46 percent below the marginal revenue product of labor. The negative relationship at the firm level between the labor share and combined market power is driven by labor rather than product market power. Finally, we show that labor market power is more pronounced among larger firms, magnifying the effect of market power on the aggregate labor share and income distribution. However, there is no indication that market power is more acute or dispersed in LAC than in its peers, nor does it appear to induce more inequality than in those countries.
    Keywords: labor market power; product market power; markups; markdowns; Latin America and the Caribbean
    JEL: J31 J42 E25
    Date: 2023–11–01
  7. By: Natalia Emanuel; Emma Harrington; Amanda Pallais
    Abstract: Amidst the rise of remote work, we ask: what are the effects of proximity to coworkers? We find being near coworkers has tradeoffs: proximity increases long-run human capital development at the expense of short-term output. We study software engineers at a Fortune 500 firm, whose main campus has two buildings several blocks apart. When offices were open, engineers working in the same building as all their teammates received 22 percent more online feedback than engineers with distant teammates. After offices closed for COVID-19, this advantage largely disappears. Yet sitting together reduces engineers' programming output, particularly for senior engineers. The tradeoffs from proximity are more acute for women, who both do more mentoring and receive more mentorship when near their coworkers. Proximity impacts career trajectories, dampening short-run pay raises but boosting them in the long run. These results can help to explain national trends: workers in their twenties who often need mentorship and workers over forty who often provide mentorship are more likely to return to the office. However, even if most mentors and mentees go into the office, remote work may reduce interaction: pre-COVID, having just one distant teammate reduced feedback among co-located workers.
    JEL: J16 J24 M15 M53 M54 O33 R23
    Date: 2023–11
  8. By: Rodriguez, Francisco Javier Valverde
    Abstract: This dissertation studies how minimum wage changes affect labor market outcomes (employment and wages) when taking into account the effect of monopsonic power from employers. We explore the case of a labor market with high levels of informality and wage inequality such as Mexico. We use data from the Mexican Economic Census and employment surveys to estimate a Herfindahl-Hirschman concentration index for urban labor markets. This measure is used to evaluate the effect of the change in minimum wage policy from the government, which started increasing the minimum wage significantly from 2016 onward. We use the concentration index in several regressions with interaction between minimum wage and the index, including lineal and quantile regressions. Our main findings are that the minimum wage has a small but positive marginal effects on labor market outputs, and these effects increase with market concentration. Spillover effects range from 0.01 to 0.14\% overall, and are bigger for informal than for formal workers. Employment effects range from -0.42 to -0.74\%. We consider the monopsony theory explains these findings. Additionally, the spillover effects are greater for the lowest percentiles of the wage distribution, and disappear around the 10th percentile. This is consistent with previous evidence about minimum wage impacts. The results are robust for alternative definitions of market concentration and for a placebo test. These results provide evidence on the effectiveness of minimum wage in reducing poverty and wage inequality, and the necessity of pro-worker regulation to reduce the market power of firms.
    Date: 2023–09–05
  9. By: Kai Fischer
    Abstract: How do skilled migrant workers affect firms’ performance and output? I estimate the causal effect of EU nurse withdrawal after the Brexit referendum on the performance of English hospitals. Exploiting variation in the reliance on EU workers across hospital providers in pre-referendum years, I find that providers with a mean share of EU nurses before the referendum persistently face 2% more hospital-related deaths after the referendum. This translates to 5, 900 additional hospital-related deaths p.a. in England. Unexpected readmissions of patients increase by 5% and reported incidents with harm to patients by 7% respectively. Providers respond to missing EU nurses by hiring UK nurses and fostering promotions in the short run, and by recruiting non-European nurses in the long run.
    Keywords: skilled labour shortage, public healthcare, e-/immigration, Brexit
    JEL: J24 J61 I18
    Date: 2023
  10. By: Peter Haan; Daniel Kemptner; Victoria Prowse; Maximilian Schaller
    Abstract: Individuals vary considerably in how much they earn during their lifetimes. This study examines the role of the tax-and-transfer system in mitigating such inequalities, which could otherwise lead to disparities in living standards. Utilizing a life-cycle model, we determine that taxes and transfers offset 45% of lifetime earnings inequality attributed to differences in productive abilities and education. Additionally, the system insures against 48% of lifetime earnings risk. Implementing a lifetime tax reform linking annual taxes to previous employment could improve the system’s insurance capabilities, albeit at the cost of a lower employment rate.
    Keywords: Lifetime earnings; lifetime income; tax-and-transfer system; taxation; unemployment insurance; disability benefits; social assistance; inequality; redistribution; insurance; education; productive ability; risk; dynamic life-cycle models
    JEL: D63 H23 I24 I38 J22 J31
    Date: 2023–11–13
  11. By: Amuedo Dorantes, Catalina; Arenas-Arroyo, Esther; Mahajan, Parag; Schmidpeter, Bernhard
    Abstract: We examine how migrant workers impact firm performance using administrative data from the United States. Exploiting an unexpected change in firms' likelihood of securing low-wage workers through the H-2B visa program, we find limited crowd-out of other forms of employment and no impact on average pay at the firm. Yet, access to H-2B workers raises firms' annual revenues and survival likelihood. Our results are consistent with the notion that guest worker programs can help address labor shortages without inflicting large losses on incumbent workers.
    Keywords: Guest workers, migrants, employment, firm dynamics, H-2B visa
    JEL: J23 F22 J61
    Date: 2023
  12. By: Zsófia L. Bárány; Moshe Buchinsky; Pauline Corblet
    Abstract: It is generally agreed upon that most individuals who acquire a college degree do so in their early 20s. Despite this consensus, we show that in the US from the 1930 birth cohort onwards a large fraction – around 20% – of college graduates obtained their degree after age 30. We explore the implications of this phenomenon. First, we show that these so-called late bloomers have significantly contributed to the narrowing of gender and racial gaps in the college share, despite the general widening of the racial gap. Second, late bloomers are responsible for more than half of the increase in the aggregate college share from 1960 onwards. Finally, we show that the returns to having a college degree vary depending on the age at graduation. Ignoring the existence of late bloomers therefore leads to a significant underestimation of the returns to college education for those finishing college in their early 20s.
    JEL: I20 I26 J30
    Date: 2023–11
  13. By: Cátia Cerqueira (NIPE/Center for Research in Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal); Fernando Alexandre (NIPE/Center for Research in Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal); Miguel Portela (NIPE/Center for Research in Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal; and IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper examines firms’ characteristics and the impact on firm performance of being a first mover in the adoption of cloud computing and big data digital technologies, relative to followers and non-adopters. Our results show that firms with higher levels of education both for managers and workers, and shorter managerial tenure are more likely to be digital adopters. First movers in the adoption of big data show distinct characteristics from followers, namely they are younger and have a larger share of higher education workers. Regarding the impact on firm performance, we find that first movers in cloud computing experience significant performance gains, namely in gross value added and productivity, compared to non-adopters, but no gains relative to followers. Interestingly, first movers in big data exhibit a productivity edge over followers and non-adopters. Furthermore, we find that higher levels of education and shorter managerial tenure amplify the positive effects of big data adoption on firm performance.
    Keywords: cloud computing, big data, management, digitalization, productivity, ICT
    JEL: D24 M10 E22 E23 J24 O33 L20
    Date: 2023
  14. By: Samuel Bentolila; Antonio Cabrales; Marcel Jansen
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the causal impact of dual vocational education and training (VET) on the labor market insertion of youth. Using matched education and social security records, we estimate the causal impact of a major reform that introduced a new dual track, which combines firm- and school-based training, on the labor market outcomes of the first three dual VET cohorts in the Spanish region of Madrid. The control group is composed of individuals who graduated in the same fields and years in school-based VET. Selection into dual VET is dealt with using a distance-based instrumental variable. Dual VET is found to generate sizable improvements in employment and earnings, but no significant impact on job quality. The results are not driven by pre-reform differences in the quality of the schools that adopted dual VET and the higher retention rate of dual VET graduates only partly explains the dual premium.
    Keywords: dual vocational education and training, school-to-work transition, Spain
    JEL: D92 G33 J23
    Date: 2023
  15. By: Amoroso, Sara (DIW Berlin); Herrmann, Benedikt (European Commission); Kritikos, Alexander S. (DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: High growth firms (HGFs) are important for job creation and considered to be precursors of economic growth. We investigate how product- and labor-market regulations, as well as the quality of regional governments that implement these regulations, affect HGF development across European regions. Using data from Eurostat, OECD, WEF, and Gothenburg University, we show that both regulatory stringency and the quality of the regional government influence the regional shares of HGFs. Additionally, we find that the effect of labor- and product-market regulations ultimately depends on the quality of regional governments. The institutional quality has a moderating role in dening the effect of regulations on the regional shares of HGFs. Our findings contribute to the debate on the effects of regulations by showing that regulations are not, per se, "good, bad, and ugly", rather their impact depends on the efficiency of regional governments. Our paper offers important building blocks to develop tailored policy measures that may influence the development of HGFs in a region.
    Keywords: high growth firms, regulation, quality of governments, regional development
    JEL: H11 L25 L50 R11 R50
    Date: 2023–10
  16. By: Li, defu; Bental, Benjamin
    Abstract: The history of modern economic growth indicates that technical change is not only purely labor-augmenting, but also skill biased the 20th century. Although there are papers that have separately analyzed why technical change be purely labor-augmenting or skill biased, there is no paper analyzing why it may be both labor-augmenting and skill biased. This article develops a growth model with endogenous direction and bias of technical change, in which capital accumulation process considers investment adjustment costs, and firms can undertake capital-, skill labor- and unskilled labor-augmenting technological improvements. In the steady-state equilibrium, technical change can include all of them. However, according to the results of the model, when there is no investment adjustment cost (implying capital supply with infinite elasticity), in steady state, technical change will be purely labor-augmenting. If market size effect dominated prices effect in innovation and the relative supply of skilled labor increase continuously, then technological progress will be purely labor-augmenting and skill biased, which result that the skill premium continue to rise, while the economic growth first increases and then decreases in an inverted U-shaped change, and the labor share of income first decreases and then increases in a U-shaped change.
    Keywords: Endogenous direction of technical change, Skilled Labor Supply, Skill Premium, Economic Growth, Labor Share, U-shaped change, Inverted U-shaped change
    JEL: E13 E25 J21 J31 O15 O33 O41
    Date: 2023–11–03
  17. By: Altamirano, Alvaro; Oliveri, María Laura; Bosch, Mariano; Tapia, Waldo
    Abstract: This paper examines the implicit subsidies within pension systems across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region. We first calculate the theoretical benefits of pension for hypothetical workers in 25 countries in LAC. We show that, on average, LAC's pension systems are subsidized, as they provide pensions above what workers would have obtained by investing pension contributions in a safe asset. Similarly, pension systems are designed to be progressive by offering higher replacement rates (pensions relative to earnings) for low-income workers. Despite this progressivity, in some countries, absolute subsidies could be higher for high-income workers. This occurs because the cost of one percentage point of the replacement increases with the average pension. Second, using data from social protection surveys, we estimate the incidence of pension systems in five LAC countries. We show that, on average, all five systems provide important subsidies to those workers who obtain a pension. However, given the high levels of informal work, in some countries, those subsidies are highly concentrated among high-income workers. Variation is large across countries. The three highest labor income deciles concentrate 70-95% of all subsidies in defined benefit systems such as Paraguay and Colombia. In defined contribution systems, subsidies are much more progressive, but still, because low-income workers do not qualify for minimum pensions, between 50-60% of subsidies concentrate in the high-income deciles. Countries like Chile, with explicit subsidies targeted at the bottom of the income distribution, obtain a more progressive distribution of subsidies. Because of relatively low participation rates, women have a weaker link with the pension system. They are also less likely to benefit from implicit subsidies. Finally, we show that non-contributory pensions, if well-targeted, largely improve the redistributive properties of pension systems in LAC.
    Keywords: pensions; subsidies; taxes; Latin America
    JEL: H55 J11 J14 J18 J26 J32
    Date: 2023–11–01
  18. By: Francesca Barigozzi; José J. Domínguez; Natalia Montinari
    Abstract: Although women often outperform men in school and college, they still face higher unemployment rates and lower wages when employed. Are prospective workers aware of these inequalities, or do they expect to enter a gender-neutral workplace? This paper investigates college students’ expectations and the effect of information provision about gender gaps in academic performance and early labor market outcomes on the two sides of the labor market. Our lab experiment comprises a questionnaire to elicit students’ beliefs about academic performance and labor market inequalities, a demand-side game, and a supply-side game. In the demand-side game, subjects act as employers and are asked to hire three candidates and assign them to tasks that differ in complexity and profitability. In the supply-side game, we elicit individual willingness to compete. Information provision takes the form of feedback on the elicited beliefs. Our treatments vary the timing of the feedback: subjects in the feedback treatment received feedback before facing the other two games, while subjects in the priming and the control treatments only received feedback at the end of the experiment. First, our findings indicate that participants are largely unaware of gender gaps. Second, while information provision doesn't substantially alter employers’ hiring decisions, it increases the likelihood of assigning women to challenging tasks. Third, while feedback enhances willingness to compete among job market candidates, it does not significantly alter the gender gap in competitiveness. Overall, our experiment suggests potential positive effects of information provision on women’s labor market outcomes.
    JEL: D03 C91 J71
    Date: 2023–11
  19. By: Linden, Mikael
    Abstract: Regression discontinuity (RD) analysis of retirement durations and retiree death ages is conducted with the Finnish year 1947 birth cohort. Data consist of observations from the sample follow-up period in 1.1.2007 – 31.12.2019. For the year 1947 cohort the eligible retirement age with old-age pension is between the ages of 63 and 68 years. However, the observed pension ages are quite often less than 63 years although the statutory minimum retirement age regulates persons’ retirement times. This means that for some retirees age of 63 years constitutes a queuing age that is against their retirement intentions, and this affects their retirement spells. We find with RD methods that close after death age of 63 years, the retirement spells discontinuously shortens although the higher death age should give room for the longer retirement spells. The point estimates for regression discontinuity effects on terminated retirement spells are in the range of from –1.09 to –0.56 in loss of year depending on the used sub-samples, covariates, and estimation methods. These findings are interpreted to conflict retirement intentions of retirees retiring at age of 63 years.
    Keywords: Regression discontinuity, retirement duration, age of death, statutory minimum retirement
    JEL: C21 J10 J26
    Date: 2023–11
  20. By: Savoia, Ettore
    Abstract: Using detailed micro-data, this paper documents that households with lower income risk (and higher income levels) exhibit a higher Marginal Propensity to Consume (MPC) in response to transitory income shocks, all else being equal. This finding is particularly significant among unconstrained households and supported by models with precautionary saving only if designed to account for the empirically observed negative correlation between income levels and income risk. This interaction generates saving dynamics such that the stationary distribution of wealth among households facing different risk levels is not polarized.Therefore, it is possible to compare their respective MPCs within wealth and identify the reduction in MPC due to labor income risk. Otherwise, the effects of income risk are masked by wealth effects. In neither case, the MPC depends on (permanent, persistent, or current) income levels, whose direct effect on the MPC is always ambiguous. Finally, simulations of targeted fiscal rebates for specific labor categories reveal that governments cannot simultaneously stimulate aggregate demand and mitigate income risk. JEL Classification: D12, D52, D81, E21, J31
    Keywords: income risk, marginal propensity to consume, precautionary saving
    Date: 2023–11
  21. By: Bove, Vincenzo (University of Warwick); Di Salvatore, Jessica (University of Warwick); Elia, Leandro (Marche Polytechnic University); Nistico, Roberto (University of Naples Federico II)
    Abstract: A considerable body of empirical evidence indicates that conflict affects reproductive behaviour, often resulting in an increased fertility rate due to higher child mortality and limited access to healthcare services. However, we know much less about the effect of peace in a post-conflict setting. This study explores how the external provision of security affects fertility by focusing on the UN intervention in Liberia. Combining DHS birth history data with information on road distance to UN military compounds, we find that women living in the proximity of peacekeepers have lower fertility rates in the deployment period. This is due to parents prioritizing quality over quantity: peacekeepers improve maternal and child health and encourage family planning by enabling donors and humanitarian actors to deliver infrastructures and services and facilitating citizens' access to such services. We also provide evidence that UN mission revitalizes local economic activities, thus increasing the opportunity cost of childbearing.
    Keywords: conflict, fertility, maternal health, child health, UN operations
    JEL: J16 J24 D74 F50
    Date: 2023–10

This nep-lma issue is ©2023 by Joseph Marchand. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.