Reproductive and Overall Health Outcomes and Their Economic Consequences for Households in Accra, Ghana

Last updated December 2010
Allan G. Hill; Günther Fink; Ernest Aryeetey; Kelly Blanchard
The analysis indicates that there is a strong and direct connection between women’s illness (and days of work missed due to children’s illnesses). On the other hand, the impact of pregnancy and infant care on women’s economic activity is less clear as poorer mothers work longer hours to compensate. Differentials in fertility are small overall and the total fertility rate is not much above replacement levels. Women are strongly attached to the labor market; they work slightly less during pregnancies but return to the labor market right after giving birth. In the long run, because of women’s duties to their families, children appear to have a direct negative effect on labor supply. The data show an indirect negative effect through the harmful (but small) long-term effects of childbearing on women’s health.
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Allan G. Hill,; Günther Fink,; Ernest Aryeetey,; Kelly Blanchard,, Harvard University, School of Public Health