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The role of education and fertility in the participation and employment of African women in South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Cecil Mlatsheni
  • Murray Leibbrandt

    () (School of Economics, University of Cape Town)

Abstract

Policy makers are well aware that creating jobs is an important priority if the health of our economy is to be preserved and improved. However, the first step towards a successful strategy of employment creation is an understanding of the labour market. Much attention has been devoted to analysing the unemployment/employment divide without sufficient attention being given to labour market participation itself. The aim of this paper is to add this dimension. Our focus is on African women, looking at the extent of the influence of education as well as fertility on their participation and employment. The first section takes a descriptive look at the relationship between education, fertility, and employment. We find that education is negatively related to fertility but positively related to employment. We also find that fertility and employment are negatively related. The next section tests these findings through estimating more formal models of participation and employment. Our conclusion is that education plays a significant role in the participation and employment of African women. However, fertility has an insignificant effect on participation of African women in the labour market. This is likely to be a result of the fact that African women are relatively poorer than the rest.

Suggested Citation

  • Cecil Mlatsheni & Murray Leibbrandt, 2001. "The role of education and fertility in the participation and employment of African women in South Africa," Working Papers 01054, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:01054
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    File Function: First version, 2001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Lam & Robert F. Schoeni, 1994. "Family Ties and Labor Markets in the United States and Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1235-1258.
    2. Lam, David & Schoeni, Robert F, 1993. "Effects of Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 710-740, August.
    3. Maglad, N.A., 1998. "Female Labour Supply in Sudan," Papers 30s, African Economic Research Consortium.
    4. Murray Leibbrandt & Haroon Bhorat, 1999. "Modelling Vulnerability and Low Earnings in the South African Labour Market," Working Papers 99032, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    5. Mroz, Thomas A, 1987. "The Sensitivity of an Empirical Model of Married Women's Hours of Work to Economic and Statistical Assumptions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 765-799, July.
    6. H. Bhorat & J. Hodge, 1999. "Decomposing Shifts in Labour Demand in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(3), pages 155-168, September.
    7. Dilnot, Andrew & Duncan, Alan, 1992. "Thinking about labour supply," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 687-713, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benhura, Miracle, 2007. "Determinants of South African Women’s Labour Force Participation, 1995–2004," IZA Discussion Papers 3119, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. David Lam & Murray Leibbrandt & Vimal Ranchhod, 2005. "Labour force withdrawal of the elderly in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 118, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    South Africa: unemployment; employment divide;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics

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