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“Isn’t it time you were finishing?”: fertility and female labor-force participation in England,1860-1920

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Feminist Economics
Issue number4
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)145-164
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This contribution examines the relationship between women’s labor force participation (LFP) and fertility in three industrial towns of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century England from a feminist economic perspective. The study augments existing, statistical, approaches to demographic history by discussing women’s motivations. Women’s LFP influenced their likelihood of family limitation (via effects on both age at marriage and marital fertility). Where women were most likely to be in paid work, they were most likely to limit family size. It is further argued that the diversity of LFP patterns is the principal explanation for the varied patterns of fertility decline in different parts of Britain.