Labor-Saving Technology and Fertility Increase in Rural Africa

MA Gibson, R Mace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Across the developing world, labor-saving technologies have been designed and implemented to introduce savings in the time and energy that women allocate to work. In rural Arsi, southern Ethiopia, a recent water-supply scheme has reduced long arduous trips to obtain water and is associated with considerable improvements in women's energy budgets. Assuming that the time and energy saved is not diverted to other energetically costly activities and nutritional levels remain constant, evolutionary life-history theory predicts that this energy may be diverted into reproductive effort and thus may increase fertility. The aim of this bio-demographic study is to detect any effects of the installation of village water taps on birth spacing and women's overall energetic status.
Translated title of the contributionLabor-Saving Technology and Fertility Increase in Rural Africa
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631 - 637
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Anthropology
Volume43 (4)
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002

Bibliographical note

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


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