International Journal of Health Sciences and Research

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Original Research Article

Year: 2016 | Month: November | Volume: 6 | Issue: 11 | Pages: 222-232

Fertility and Maternal Labour Participation in Developing Countries: Evidence from Nigeria

Ovikuomagbe Oyedele

Department of Economics, Babcock University, Ilishan, Ogun State, Nigeria.


High fertility levels as is the case in Nigeria, has negative implications on women’s health due to the health risks it poses. Several studies have shown that labour participation could reduce fertility. This paper examined the relationship between fertility and maternal labor participation in Nigeria. Despite the negative fertility-employment relationship established in Western countries, arguments for the case of developing countries exist. Estimating a simultaneous equation model using a two-stage estimation method, fertility and maternal labor participation were found to have a bicausal relationship. A negative relationship was seen to exist which supported the incompatibility hypothesis in both formal and informal sectors of urban and rural locations only when the effect of maternal labor participation on fertility is considered. However, when the effect of fertility on maternal labor participation is examined, the negative relationship was only consistent in the rural informal sector. A positive relationship was obtained in the formal sector of both urban and rural locations. Thus whether some compatibility or incompatibility exist in the relationship, depends on the direction of causality.

Key words: Number of children ever born, labour participation, mothers, relationship.

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