Drivers for Early Labour Market Transitions of Young Women in Uganda: Evidence from the 2015 School to Work Transition Survey

Fertility decisions and associated impacts on young women’s entry into the labour markets are major policy concerns in sub Saharan Africa. This paper jointly estimates the drivers of key life cycle decisions of educational attainment, marriage age, age of first birth and age at first entry into the labour market for young women in Uganda aged 15-24 years. We estimate probit and hazard models for education attainment, first marriage, child bearing and early market entry. We find that education attainment impacts on early labour entry, age at first marriage and fertility decisions. The duration out of school—especially in the first three years, has a significant direct effect on early labour market entry and age at first marriage. As such enforcing the Uganda laws that prohibit early marriage could go a long way in curbing transmission of education poverty across generations. We also find that socio-cultural practices matter especially peer influences matter— higher the share of married women by cohort, the higher the hazard of getting married. There is a regional dimension on the timing of marriage with a higher risk of early marriages observed in the northern and eastern regions.