Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Much attention has been given to the relation between population growth and economic development, and one important aspect of this question is the link between fertility and female labor force participation. Variations in the female labor force participation and fertility relationships have been explained by the maternal role incompatibility hypothesis, which states that an inverse relationship occurs between women's work and fertility only when the roles of worker and mother conflict. Substantial amount of empirical studies done have supported this hypothesis. This hypothesis implies that a negative relationship between female employment and fertility will depend on the degree that they are competing uses of time. If female employment and fertility are not competing uses of time, one will expect no relationship, or even a positive relation may exist. This hypothesis forms the central issue of this study. The primary purpose of this dissertation is to examine the relationship that exists between female employment and fertility in Lagos. Some other important issues were addressed, such as, the questions of the role of child-care help on female employment and the effects of some economic and demographic variables on fertility. The questionnaire utilized in this study categorized female employment into three groups: women employed in the civil service sector, those that are self-employed and the housewives. Of these three categories, it is expected that the fertility levels for the civil servants will be lower than the rest. This is mainly because the work organization of civil servants is quite formal. For the self-employed, one will expect their fertility levels to be similar to those of housewives. The results from the regression analysis do support the incompatibility hypothesis. A negative and significant relationship was observed when all the respondents were regressed together. The results do show that as the respondents were grouped according to the economic activities they performed and the level of their work intensity, some measures of incompatibility became better than others.