Maternal Labour Force Participation in Cameroon: The Role of Children’s Health

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Melie, Nchinda Pechue
Tambi, Mbu Daniel
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African Economic Research Consortium
This study applied the probit model controlling for endogeneity, using the 2004/2011 Demographic and Health Survey in Cameroon to investigate the influence of child health on maternal labour force participation (MLFP) and to explore the heterogeneous effects of MLFP by sector of activity and marital status. The summary statistics revealed that participating mothers systematically differ from non-participating mothers on various characteristics. The results showed that overall, child health increases the probability of MLFP for married women and single mothers in both agriculture and non-agriculture sectors. These results mean that poor child health exerts emotional stress and imposes a physical demand for caring on family members. As the primary carer, the mother consequently reduces work commitment or even leaves the labour market to care for the ill child. Thus, investing in child health is very important as it enables the mother to use the extra-time at their disposal to participate additionally in labour market and job training opportunities.
Maternal Labour Force Participation, Role, Children’s health, ivprobit, Cameroon