Family Structure, Poverty And Labor Market Participation

Joseph Stéphane Nguidjol Ma'a, Université de Yaoundé 2
Hibrahim Limi Kouotou, Université de Yaoundé 2
Marie Emeraude Mouaha, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

This paper explores the effects of family structure and family poverty on labor market participation in Cameroon. The third Cameroonian household survey is used to estimate, from a probit model, the labor market participation of the householder. The results show that: (i) poverty, belonging to a nuclear family or being widowed/divorced decreases the probability of being unemployed while household size increases this probability; (ii) poverty, belonging to a nuclear family or being widowed/divorced increases the probability of working in the informal sector, while belonging to a larger household or to a monogamous or polygamous marriage decreases that probability; (iii) results on the formal sector are the opposite of those of (ii). The main conclusions are that: the solidarity mechanisms within the family reduce pressure in job search and the government should act on supporting informal activities with regard to the endogenous relationship between labor market participation and household poverty.

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  Presented in Session 55. Family and Marriage in Sub-Saharan Africa: Transformation And Consequences