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Fertility and Maternal Hours of Work in Ethiopia: A Case Study in the Amhara Region

  • 2013
  • Journal Article
Desta, Chalachew Getahun

Publication Title: African Population Studies

Pages: 89-104

Abstract: Theoretical evidence relating to children’s economic effect suggests that mothers work fewer hours with a large number of young children and more hours when children are adults. The majority of empirical studies find results consistent with this expectation, but there are some studies which fail to confirm this theoretical prediction for developing countries. Using data from a household sample survey of rural and urban married women with at least two live children, this study employs the Two-Stage Least Squares model to document the maternal hours of work effected by the number of children. We find that children have positive effects both for the rural and urban mothers’ hours of work when all households are considered, but not for urban mothers when households are categorized by the age groups of their children. Generally, our results contradict traditional theory and show that Ethiopian mothers with large numbers of young children work longer.


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