|Birth and employment transitions of women in Turkey: The emergence of role incompatibility|
||Ayse Abbasoglu Özgören, Banu Ergöçmen, and Aysit Tansel
||Demographic Research, 39(46): 1241-1290; DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2018.39.46
The available evidence on the relationship between fertility and employment among
women in developing countries paints an ambiguous picture. In Turkey there have been
considerable structural changes since the 1960s, related to the incompatibility between
women’s roles as mother and worker.
This study analyzes the two-way relationship between employment and fertility in
Turkey over a 35-year period, including the correlates of the risks of first, second, third,
and fourth and higher-order conceptions, and of the transitions from non-employment
to employment and from employment to non-employment.
The study adopts piecewise constant exponential event history modeling using data
from the 2008 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey, mainly its event history data on
There is a two-way negative association between fertility and employment among
women in Turkey. The characteristics of jobs that favor compatibility between worker
and mother roles increase the risk of conception. Exiting employment is temporarily
increased by fertility, due either to pregnancy or having an infant. Fertility in all its
dimensions decreases the risk of entry into employment.
Contextual changes related to the incompatibility of the roles of mother and worker
have transformed the fertility–employment relationship in Turkey from being
insignificant to being strongly negative, in line with the role incompatibility hypothesis.
This is the first study to use event history analysis to analyze the relationship between
women’s fertility and employment in a developing country. As regards Turkey, it is the
first to follow a decadal approach to the issue, and has important policy implications for