The effect of household structure on women's economic activity and fertility: evidence from recent mothers in urban Mexico

R. Wong, R. E. Levine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The purpose of this article is to isolate empirically the effect of a specific characteristic of household structure, the presence of a "mother substitute', as a determinant of participation in economic activity, and family-formation behaviors. We study these effects among mothers of preschool-age children in urban areas of Mexico, using data from the 1982 Mexican National Demographic Survey. All the results indicate that the availability of mother substitutes in the household increases the likelihood of participating in the work force but does not increase the likelihood of having more children. Furthermore, the availability of mother substitutes decreases the likelihood of having more children, after controlling for other socioeconomic and demographic characteristics in our sample of mothers of young children in urban Mexico. This result holds especially for the subsample of nonemployed mothers. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-102
Number of pages14
JournalEconomic Development & Cultural Change
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Economics and Econometrics

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