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Nonrecursive Models of Labor Force Participation, Fertility Behavior and Sex Role Attitudes

Lynn Smith-Lovin and Ann R. Tickamyer
American Sociological Review
Vol. 43, No. 4 (Aug., 1978), pp. 541-557
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2094778
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Nonrecursive Models of Labor Force Participation, Fertility Behavior and Sex Role Attitudes
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Abstract

Studies of female labor force participation and fertility have established a negative relationship between the two; however, there has been much debate over the direction and causes of this relationship. In this paper, two causal models of the actual fertility and work behavior of a national sample of married women, aged 30 in 1970, are examined using the two-stage least-squares technique to disentangle reciprocal effects. Included are a two-variable feedback loop incorporating only fertility and labor force participation and a three-variable model which adds sex role attitudes to the endogenous variables. Most of the work-fertility relationship can be accounted for by controlling background variables such as education and marital duration. A negative effect from fertility to labor force participation remains, however. Adding sex role attitudes to the model as a potential source and consequence of fertility and work behavior slightly reduces the size of this effect.

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