Women’s Productive and Reproductive Choices: How Intergenerational Households Influence Labor Force Participation among Egyptian Women

David Bishai, Johns Hopkins University
Daesha Ramachandran, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Omaima El Gibaly, Assiut University

Mother-in-law co-residence could either increase or inhibit female labor supply. The effect depends on the potential earnings of the daughter in law as well as expectations for care-giving. In one view, the mother-in-law may consider the marriage of her sons an occasion to “retire” and will expect that the daughter-in-law will care for the home. According to another view, if a daughter-in-law can obtain attractive wages the mother-in-law might facilitate rather than hinder the labor supply of her daughter-in-law in the interest of a better household income. We test the effect of mother-in-law co-residence on the labor participation of daughters in law using the Egyptian Labor Market Survey waves of 1998 and 2006. Using a bivariate probit model to instrument co-residence using lagged co-residence and the number of children, we find that mother-in-law coresidence increases female labor supply in urban areas and has no significant effect in rural areas.

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Presented in Poster Session 1