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Female Employment and Fertility: Further Investigation of an Ambivalent Association


  • Zeba A. sathar

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)

  • Shahnaz Kazi

    (Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.)


This study of the relationship between female employment and fertility is based on a survey of 1000 ever-married women in Karachi. A distinct pattern of differentials in actual performance and in desired fertility is observed across working and non-working women. Working women are not a homogeneous group, and the differences across six broad occupational groups of working women are more marked than those between working and non-working women. Women in higher status occupations marry much later than and have half the completed family size of — those women working in lower status occupations. The fertility of non-working women lies somewhere in between these two groups. Some reasons for the fertility differentials found are identified in variations in point of entry into the labour force relative to the stage in child-bearing, in expectations from sons in old age support, and in relative facility in seeking means of fertility control. Working women in higher status occupations also have better chances of their children surviving, whereas women in lower status occupations suffer a greater toll of child deaths.

Suggested Citation

  • Zeba A. sathar & Shahnaz Kazi, 1989. "Female Employment and Fertility: Further Investigation of an Ambivalent Association," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 28(3), pages 175-194.
  • Handle: RePEc:pid:journl:v:28:y:1989:i:3:p:175-194

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Husted, Steven & Rush, Mark, 1984. "On measuring the nearness of near moneys revisited," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 171-181, September.
    2. Allan H. Meltzer, 1963. "The Demand for Money: The Evidence from the Time Series," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71, pages 219-219.
    3. Boughton, James M., 1981. "Money and its substitutes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 375-386.
    4. Moroney, John R & Wilbratte, Barry J, 1978. "Money and Money Substitutes: A Reply," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 10(1), pages 115-116, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lata Gangadharan & Pushkar Maitra, 2001. "The Effect of Education on the Timing of Marriage and First Birth in Pakistan," ASARC Working Papers 2001-04, The Australian National University, Australia South Asia Research Centre.
    2. Tasnim Khan & Rana Ejaz Ali Khan, 2009. "Urban Informal Sector: How Much Women Are Struggling for Family Survival," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 48(1), pages 67-95.
    3. Zeba Ayesha Sathar & Shahnaz Kazi, 2000. "Women’s Autonomy in the Context of Rural Pakistan," The Pakistan Development Review, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, vol. 39(2), pages 89-110.
    4. Robert Pollin & James Heintz, 2003. "Informalization, Economic Growth and the Challenge of Creating Viable Labor Standards in Developing Countries," Working Papers wp60, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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