Married Women in The Labour Market: A Singapore Perspective

Cheong, Wai Min (2009) Married Women in The Labour Market: A Singapore Perspective. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)

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Singapore’s economic development has been progressing rapidly over the past few decades. The level of education and intellectual capacity of her has been improving over the years. More women are having higher educational qualifications and assume senior positions in their careers. Like other developed countries, this success also brings along a unique set of social problems. The country has been having a dry spell in terms of fertility rates. In addition, a growing trend in delaying marriage and a decline of married women’s participation in the workforce after childbirth.

Previous studies have indicated that the choices made between family time and income, based on the income and substitution effect has an impact on family income and family life. In the comparison between family income and leisure time of working mothers in Singapore, there is a negative substitution effect for the high family-income working mothers when there is an increase in their wage rate. The additional wage rate does not motivate them to trade in more of their leisure time. This is contrary to the income and substitution effect theory of a normal worker. A normal worker will trade-in more leisure time when there is an increase in wage rate. In the case of working mothers, this trend does not seem to apply. However, when the family-income is low or when the family is in-debt, there is a positive substitution effect even though the working mothers do not have much leisure time for themselves. They are willing to trade-in their limited leisure time for the additional income which could make a difference in their family income. This is not the behaviour exhibited for a normal worker. When the average normal worker is left with limited leisure time, he will not trade-in his leisure time for more income. The income and substitution effect is used to shed light on the issues and contributing factors to the decision variables of the working moms in their participation in the workforce.

The research included data collection, data analysis and a comparative review of existing literature and examination of official statistics. Data collection was conducted in two phases. The 1st phase involved 100 survey participants and the 2nd phase involved 10 in-depth structured interviews. The purpose of this research is to draw a deeper understanding of these factors and a review of existing government policies and explore possible areas where the government can explore in attracting stay-at-home mothers back to the workforce in Singapore and possibly increasing the fertility rate.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2010 14:01
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 19:25

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