The Review of Black Political Economy

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 87–99 | Cite as

Child care and female employment in urban nigeria

  • Amon O. Okpala


Several factors influence female employment in most societies. They include family economic pressures, employability, earning potential, labor market environment and family composition. Several studies have been done on the influence of all factors but the last, family composition, that is, whether the mother has a baby-sitter. If the answer is a “yes,” then the probability that she will engage in an economic activity increases.

This article addresses the question of the role of the child-care on female employment. The results show that the influence of child-care on female employment in Lagos depends on the nature of such help.


Child Care Female Employment Family Composition Female Labor Force Participation Market Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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  1. 1.
    Shahidur R. Khandker, “Determinants of Women’s Time Allocation in Rural Bangladesh,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, 37 (October 1988): 111–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gary S. Becker, “A Theory of the Allocation of Time,” Economic Journal, 75 (September, 1965): 493–517; and Reuben Gronau, “The Intrafamily Allocation of Time: The Value of the Housewives’ Time,” AER 68 (September 1973): 634-651.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    See Mead Cain, S. Khanam and Shamsun Nahar, “Class Patriarchy and Women’s Work in Bangladesh,” Population and Development Review, 5 (September 1979): 405–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    In his study of Bangladesh women, Shahidur R. Khandker found out that a two-way choice structure is more appropriate for describing women’s work patterns. S. R. Khandker, “Determinants of Women’s Time Allocation in Rural Bangladesh,” Economic Development & Cultural Change, 37 (October 1988): 111–126. The two-way choice structure is whether “to work” in the labor force as a self-employed person in family enterprise and paid employment in nonfamilial market production, both producing cash income, or “to work” exclusively for home production.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 7.
    Shahidur R. Khandker, “Determinants of Women’s Time Allocation in Rural Bangladesh,” Economic Development and Cultural Change, 37 (October 1988): 115.Google Scholar
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    Karen O. Mason and V. T. Palan, “Female Employment and Fertility in Peninsular Malaysia: The Maternal Role Incompatibility Hypothesis Reconsidered,” Demography, 18 (November, 1981): 551.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    See Changing African Family Project (CAFN)—Nigerian segment, J. C. Caldwell, “The Study of Fertility Change in Tropical Africa,” Occasional Papers, 7 (1974), World Fertility Survey; Nigerian Family Study, John C. Caldwell and Pat Caldwell, “The Role of Marital Sexual Abstinence in Determining Fertility: A Study of the Yoruba in Nigeria,” Population Studies, 31 (July 1977).Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    See A. Adewuyi, “Child Care and Female Employment in a Nigerian Metropolis: The Role of the Under-Six’s,” Nigerian Journal of Economic and Social Studies, 22 (July 1980). This study examined the influence of child care on female employment rates of mothers by age of the youngest child. In this article, the focus is on the age distribution among women surveyed and the role played by child care in employment. This will help show if difference in employment rate exist between younger and other mothers. It is quite reasonable to say that younger mothers are the ones most likely to have younger children, and as such, babysitting help may influence their participation rates.Google Scholar

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© Springer 1989

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  • Amon O. Okpala

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