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Influence of Fertility and Household Composition on Female Labor Supply

  • 2008-2012
  • Project
d’Exelle, Ben, University of East Anglia
Study: “The Influence of Fertility and Household Composition on Female Labor Supply: Evidence From Panel Data on Tanzania”
PI(s): d’Exelle, Ben
Co-PI(s): Westeneng, Judith
Affiliation(s): University of East Anglia
Institutional Partner(s): NWO/WOTRO
Project Dates:
Start: 2008
End: 2012
Data Source(s): Panel Data
Methods: IV Econometric
Geographic Location(s): Tanzania

This project is a subproject of “Impact of Reproductive Health Services on Socioeconomic Development in Sub-Sarahan Africa: Connecting Evidence at a Macro, Meso, and Micro Level.” The influence of fertility on female labor supply has been studied extensively in Western societies, but little evidence is available in sub-Saharan Africa. This article studies the impact of fertility on female time allocation to income-generating activities in northern Tanzania. Research shows that the influence of fertility depends on the position of women in their household and the corresponding life cycle. Fertility has a negative effect for women who recently started their own household, which can be attributed to the close relation between women’s position in the household and their social status. With increased status, women obtain more bargaining power, hence more possibilities to spend time on income-generating activities. Consequently, over time, the effects from income-generating activities lead to positive effects of fertility on labor supply. Results show that the number of older biological children, male adults, elderly, and mother substitutes in the household influences women’s time spent on income-generating activities.

Research Outputs:
Westeneng, Judith. (2015). Power and Pregnancies: Disentangling Causes and Consequences of Safe Motherhood in Tanzania (Doctoral dissertation). Radboud University Nijmegen.

Westeneng, Judith & D’Exelle, Ben. (2015). How Economic Empowerment Reduces Women’s Reproductive Health Vulnerability in Tanzania. The Journal of Development Studies, 51 (11). 1459-1474.

Westeneng, Judith & D’Exelle, Ben. (2011), The Influence of Fertility and Household Composition on Female Labor Supply: Evidence from Panel Data on Tanzania, Working Paper 29, DEV Working Paper Series, The School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK.

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