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Where Are the Babies? Labor Market Conditions and Fertility in Europe

48 Pages Posted: 19 May 2005  

Alícia Adserà

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Princeton University - Office of Population Research (OPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: April 2005

Abstract

Cross-country differences in both the age at first birth and fertility are substantial in Europe. The paper uses the European Community Household Panel 1994-2000 to investigate the relationship between unemployment of both women (and their spouses) with the timing and number of children. Maternity postponement is acute in countries with high and persistent unemployment since the mid 1980s. Moreover, the paper examines how fertility varies, for a similar level of unemployment, as a function of country-specific institutional arrangements. Wide access to part-time and to permanent positions (such as those in the public sector) is correlated with faster transitions to births. Short-term contracts are associated with delayed fertility instead.

Keywords: Fertility, unemployment, public sector, part-time, maternity benefits

JEL Classification: J13, J2, J6, H3

Suggested Citation

Adserà, Alícia, Where Are the Babies? Labor Market Conditions and Fertility in Europe (April 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1576. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=530242

Alicia Adsera (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ 08544

Princeton University - Office of Population Research (OPR) ( email )

200 Wallace Hall
NJ 08544
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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