Labour Force Participation and Fertility: A Social Analysis of Their Antecedents and Simultaneity

1984| Working Paper No. 771

The nature of the relationship between labour force participation and fertility are examined for 172 families comprising a marriage cohort. The results show that labour force participation and fertility are spuriously related in that they are under the common influence of sex role norms, attitudes toward the wife working, and the value or importance of children for the spouses. Comparisons are made among social psychological models, wherein either the husband or wife provides information as they perceive their relationship, and a sociological model wherein group constructs are formed with the husband and wife acting as informants on the pattern of norms guiding their relation. A structural equation methodology is employed to better model measurement error and errors in equations simultaneously.