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6 Pages

The Employment of Wives, Dominance, and Fertility*

WithRobert H. Weller

Using survey data collected in predominantly lower- and middle-income neighborhoods of San Juan, Puerto Rico, the author tests three propositions. (1) Participation in the labor force is associated with increased influence by the wife in family decision-making, particularly with respect to having additional children. (2) This increased influence in decision-making is associated with lower fertility among working women. (3) The negative relationship between laborforce status and fertility is stronger among wife-dominant and egalitarian families than among husband-dominant couples. Empirical support is present for each proposition.