EDUCATION, FAMILY FORMATION AND FEMALE LABOUR MARKET PARTICIPATION IN CAMEROON
NEMBOT, Adeline MBOUNKA
University of Yaoundé II
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the effect of education on family formation and the ensuing effects on female employment in Cameroon, using individual and household records of the 2011 Cameroon Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Specifically, the thesis seeks: to examine the influence of education on the timing of first marriage, to assess the effect of education on the timing of first birth, and to explore how transition into marriage and birth modulate the effect of education on female full-time employment in Cameroon. To achieve these objectives, we appeal to theoretical and empirical tools. Becker’s model of time allocation provides the theoretical underpinnings on how with respect to education, a woman chooses between forming a family, working or both. Empirically, use is made of the survival analysis, the two-stage residual inclusion (2SRI) approach, the Heckman two-step correction for selection bias, the simple and ordered Probit models, and the control function modeling strategy. Results reveal that education delays women’s age at first marriage. Education also induces women to postpone their age at first birth; and these delays increase monotonically with level of education. Yet, only wives with post-primary education postponed their age at first birth compared to their counterparts with no education. In addition, while delaying age at first marriage and age at first birth by a year encourages women to reduce their likelihood of participating in full-time employment, education induces women to increase their probability of participating in full-time work. Yet, transition into first marriage and first birth reduces the marginal efficiency of education on women’s full-time employment, except if they choose to postpone their age at first marriage and age at first birth by up to 11 and 12 years, respectively. These findings have public policy implications. For instance, besides public interventions that encourage the girl child to stay longer in school, policy interventions could equality create an enabling environment that reconciles work and family formation. Such interventions may include the popularization of daycare centers and universal paid maternity leave.
education , age at first marriage , age at first birth , female employment , DHS survey , Cameroon