chapter  10
34 Pages


Two important phenomena characterizing developed societies in the twentieth century are a decline in marital fertility rates and a rise in the labor-force participation of married women. These persistent trends, combined with a recognition of the importance of the mother in child rearing, suggest the possibility that one means of accelerating the adop­ tion of goals leading to smaller family size in less developed countries might be to encourage the employment of women. Such a policy pre­ scription, however, presupposes that the inverse association between female employment and fertility in industrial nations implies a causal re­ lationship and that there exists a strong conflict between the economic employment of women and child rearing within less developed countries. To evaluate such a policy in the context of a developing country there­ fore requires extreme care.