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The Impact of the Labour Market on the Timing of Marriage and Births in Spain

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  • Maria Gutierrez-Domenech
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    Abstract

    The main purpose of this paper is to show how the labour market affects Spanish individual fertility decisions. Spain is an interesting case due to its huge fertility decline. Our hypothesis is that precarious Spanish labour markets (i.e. high unemployment rates and fixedterm contracts) postpone childbearing. We test if female employment (full and part-time) is a barrier for family formation. The study is done for a sample of both men and women. We analyse two groups, Cohort 1945-60 and Cohort 1961-77 in order to capture social changes. The paper focuses on the timing of marriage and the birth of a first, second and third child using a Cox hazard approach. Results show that female employment delays marriage in Cohort 1945-60 but it has a reverse effect in Cohort 1961-77. We also find that employed women (regardless of the number of hours) postpone first and second birth in any cohort, even accounting for any potential endogeneity between fertility and participation. Female labour market instability plays an important role in family formation, especially by putting off marriage. From our male sample analysis we learn that male unemployment, at the individual level, impacts negatively on fertility only through delaying marriage.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0556.

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    Date of creation: Dec 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0556

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    Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

    Related research

    Keywords: duration models; fertility; labour market; education;

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    References

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    1. Pau Baizán Munoz & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2001. "Cohabitation, marriage, first birth: the interrelationship of family formation events in Spain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-036, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Margaret Marini & Peter Hodsdon, 1981. "Effects of the timing of marriage and first birth of the spacing of subsequent births," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 529-548, November.
    3. James J. Heckman & V. Joseph Hotz & James R. Walker, . "New Evidence on the Timing and Spacing of Births," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 85-1, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    4. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "Flexibility vs. Rigidity: Does Spain have the worst of both Worlds?," IZA Discussion Papers 144, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Harvey S. James Jr., 1996. "The Impact of Female Employment on the Likelihood and Timing of Second and Higher Order Pregnancies," Labor and Demography 9612002, EconWPA.
    6. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2001. "Job bust, baby bust?: Evidence from Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 505-521.
    7. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-56, July.
    8. Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Employment careers and the timing of first births in East Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    9. Adriaan S. Kalwij, 2000. "The effects of female employment status on the presence and number of children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 221-239.
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    Cited by:
    1. Mario García-Ferreira & Ernesto Villanueva, 2007. "Employment risk and household formation: evidence from differences in firing costs," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0737, Banco de Espa�a.

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