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Economic uncertainty and fertility postponement: evidence from German panel data

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  • Michaela Kreyenfeld

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates whether economic uncertainty induces a postponement of family formation. We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel which provides longitudinal information of economic uncertainty and fertility for the period 1984 to 2004. We employ ‘objective’ measures of uncertainty (unemployment, fixed-term contract, low income) as well as ‘subjective’ measures (the feeling that the personal economic situation is insecure). Our results suggest that there is no clear indication that economic uncertainty generally leads to a postponement of parenthood. More highly educated women tend to postpone family formation when unemployed or when they feel insecure about their personal economic situation. However, women with low educational levels accommodate themselves quite readily with motherhood when subject to labor market insecurities.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2005-034.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2005-034.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2005-034

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    Keywords: Germany; fertility;

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    References

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    1. Sumon Kumar Bhaumik & Jeffrey B. Nugent, 2002. "Does Economic Uncertainty Have an Impact on Decisions to Bear Children? Evidence from Eastern Germany," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 491, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Alícia Adserà, 2004. "Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labor market institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 17-43, February.
    3. Eileen Trzcinski & Elke Holst, 2003. "Hohe Lebenszufriedenheit teilzeitbeschäftigter Mütter," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(35), pages 539-545.
    4. John Bongaarts, 1999. "Fertility Decline in the Developed World: Where Will It End?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 256-260, May.
    5. Sara Rica & Amaia Iza, 2005. "Career Planning in Spain: Do Fixed-term Contracts Delay Marriage and Parenthood?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 49-73, November.
    6. Øystein Kravdal, 2002. "The impact of individual and aggregate unemployment on fertility in Norway," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(10), pages 263-294, April.
    7. 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.
    8. S. Philip Morgan & Ronald Rindfuss, 1999. "Reexamining the link of early childbearing to Marriage and to subsequent fertillty," Demography, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 59-75, February.
    9. Tomás Sobotka, 2004. "Is Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe Explained by the Postponement of Childbearing?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 195-220.
    10. George B. Roberts, Chairman, Universities-National Bureau Committee for Economic Research, 1960. "Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number univ60-2, May.
    11. Leibenstein, Harvey, 1975. "The Economic Theory of Fertility Decline," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 89(1), pages 1-31, February.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:
    1. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany: Implications for family formation and fertility," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00786291, HAL.
    2. Joanna Osiñska, 2013. "Postawy wzglêdem euro i ich determinanty– przegl¹d badañ i literatury przedmiotu," Working Papers 70, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    3. Pedro Gete and Paolo Porchia, 2011. "Fertility and Consumption when Having a Child is a Risky Investment," Working Papers gueconwpa~11-11-03, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    4. Sunnee Billingsley, 2010. "The Post-Communist Fertility Puzzle," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 193-231, April.
    5. Prifti, Ervin & Vuri, Daniela, 2013. "Employment protection and fertility: Evidence from the 1990 Italian reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 77-88.
    6. Anna Matysiak & Daniele Vignoli, 2006. "Fertility and women’s employment: a meta-analysis," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-048, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Anna Matysiak & Dorota Wêziak-Bia³owolska, 2013. "Country-Specific Conditions for Work and Family Reconciliation: An Attempt at Quantification," Working Papers 67, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    8. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2012. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany : implications for family formation and fertily," Working Papers 180, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    9. Monika A. Mynarska, 2007. "Fertility postponement and age norms in Poland: is there a deadline for parenthood?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    10. Paolo Porchia & Pedro Gete, 2011. "Fertility and Consumption when Having a Child is a Risky Investment," 2011 Meeting Papers 563, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Fanti, Luciano & Manfredi, Piero, 2009. "Neoclassical production theory and growth with unemployment: The stability issue revisited," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 126-135, June.
    12. repec:hal:journl:halshs-00786291 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Francesca Modena & Concetta Rondinelli & Fabio Sabatini, 2013. "Economic insecurity and fertility intentions: the case of Italy," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 931, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany : Implications for family formation and fertility," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13004, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    15. Cordula Zabel, 2006. "Employment experience and first birth in Great Britain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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