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Postponing maternity in Ireland

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Author Info

  • Cathal O'Donoghue
  • David Meredith
  • Eamon O'Shea

Abstract

As in many other developed countries, Ireland has experienced a postponement of maternity. Whilst a number of authors have commented on this trend, suggesting greater female participation in the workforce results in delayed maternity, to date little research has tested this proposition. We develop a model to consider the main trends related to the phenomenon of maternity postponement, considering changes in first and later births separately. Using retrospective life history data developed from the 1994 Living In Ireland Survey we estimate a hazard model to empirically test the relationship between career planning and the timing of first and subsequent births. We incorporate a declining marginal return to experience and thereby provide a human capital/career planning explanation for maternity postponement. The results of our analysis demonstrate that career planning has an impact on the timing of maternity. The findings also establish an income effect that influences the timing of first births. Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/beq010
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 59-84

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Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:1:p:59-84

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References

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  1. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  2. Walker, James R, 1995. "The Effect of Public Policies on Recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 8(3), pages 223-51, August.
  3. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
  4. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "Job bust, baby bust: The Spanish case," Studies on the Spanish Economy 12, FEDEA.
  5. Hotz, V-J & Kerman, J-A & Willis, R-J, 1996. "The Economics of Fertility in Developed Countries : A Survey," Papers 96-09, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  6. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  7. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  8. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
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Cited by:
  1. Danièle Meulders & Siv Gustavsson, 2006. "The rationale of motherhood choices: influence of employment conditions and public policies :MOCHO," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7734, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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