Open Access Journal Article

Family Rules, Employment, Fertility and Women’s Empowerment: Evidence from a Developing Country

by Safdar Ullah Khan a,* orcid Arthur H. Goldsmith b orcid Gulasekaran Rajaguru a orcid  and  Ahmad M Khalid c
Bond Business School, Bond University, Australia
The Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics, Washington and Lee University, US
School of Business and Economics, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Gadong, Brunei Darussalam
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
JEA  2024, 84; 3(4), 84;
Received: 13 December 2023 / Accepted: 14 February 2024 / Published Online: 23 February 2024


This research investigates the determinants of women's empowerment within households in a developing country. The investigation specifically focuses on the impact of employment and fertility, considering constraints imposed by family rules that play a pivotal role in shaping women's empowerment. The theoretical framework outlined in this study posits a simplistic model demonstrating that, within the prevailing family structure and household composition, earned income and fertility may bear significant relevance. Utilizing data extracted from the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey, we engage in estimating the level of female empowerment, operationalized as the extent of female authority over household expenditures. Notably, our empirical approach accounts for the endogeneity of employment and fertility through a two-stage estimation process. This involves leveraging information on family rules—representative of a family's cultural norms—pertaining to work and childbearing. Our empirical findings affirm the viability of family-specific rules as instruments to estimate and subsequently predict employment and fertility. Importantly, the evidence gleaned underscores the critical role of selecting valid threat options in theoretical analyses of women's empowerment.

Copyright: © 2024 by Khan, Goldsmith, Rajaguru and Khalid. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

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ACS Style
Khan, S. U.; Goldsmith, A. H.; Rajaguru, G.; Khalid, A. M. Family Rules, Employment, Fertility and Women’s Empowerment: Evidence from a Developing Country. Journal of Economic Analysis, 2024, 3, 84.
AMA Style
Khan S U, Goldsmith A H, Rajaguru G, Khalid A M. Family Rules, Employment, Fertility and Women’s Empowerment: Evidence from a Developing Country. Journal of Economic Analysis; 2024, 3(4):84.
Chicago/Turabian Style
Khan, Safdar U.; Goldsmith, Arthur H.; Rajaguru, Gulasekaran; Khalid, Ahmad M. 2024. "Family Rules, Employment, Fertility and Women’s Empowerment: Evidence from a Developing Country" Journal of Economic Analysis 3, no.4:84.
APA style
Khan, S. U., Goldsmith, A. H., Rajaguru, G., & Khalid, A. M. (2024). Family Rules, Employment, Fertility and Women’s Empowerment: Evidence from a Developing Country. Journal of Economic Analysis, 3(4), 84.

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