Female Labor Force Participation and Fertility in Nigeria.

Type Working Paper
Title Female Labor Force Participation and Fertility in Nigeria.
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1987
URL http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED292726.pdf
The two major objectives of this study are: (1) to
identify the crucial factors affecting fertility behavior among
working and non-working women in Nigeria; and (2) to examine the
extent to which the "role incompatibility" and "opportunity cost"
hypotheses of fertility behavior are supported by empirical facts in
Nigeria. Two major orientations have guided studies in fertility
behavior among working women. One is sociological, the other
economic. The sociological hypothesis maintains that the more
incompatible the role of mother and worker are, the more negative the
relationship between employment and fertility. The economic
hypothesis argues that an increase in labor force participation
increases the opportunity cost of children, resulting in fertility
reduction. However, research findings from the Nigeria Fertility
Survey 1981-82 showed that the relationship between work and
fertility is not consistent with the role incompatibility and
opportunity cost hypotheses. Women who had worked before and since
marriage had the highest fertility rate, followed by women who worked
since but not before marriage. Research findings indicate a need for
a sound model specification to guide further research. An adequate
model for the understanding of fertility-employment relationship must
place the impact of culture at the center of analysis. Inconsistent
findings with regard to the relationship between fertility and female
labor force participation leaves policymakers without an adequate
theoretical framework to guide policy action aimed at fertility
reduction. A substantial decline in fertility could be attained under
a number of conditions affecting the ideal and structural realms of
the society.

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