The contribution of the world fertility surveys to an understanding of the relationship between women's work and fertility (HTML)
Studies in Family Planning 22(3): 144-161
Publication date: 1991
A consistent negative association between women's paid work and fertility in developed countries has emerged from many years of research. Results from research in developing countries are more ambiguous, with as many examples of a positive association as of a negative one. Lack of data comparability has often hampered interpretation of results. The World Fertility Surveys (WFS)--undertaken in 40 developing countries between 1974-81, using a common core questionnaire that included numerous questions on women's work--have created a unique opportunity to evaluate this association in a comparative framework. This article reviews and interprets the majorfindings on the work-fertility relationship from this and other published research on women's work and fertility, and assesses the data limitations. The article concludes with recommendations for the treatment of women's work in the design of future fertility and family planning surveys.
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