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Labour Market Integration and the Transition to Parenthood: A Comparison of Germany and the UK

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  • Christian Schmitt

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to investigate the hypothesis that after leaving the educational system, labour market integration has a causal effect on first-birth decisions. The analysis focuses on two major research questions: First, how is the timing of first parenthood associated with previous labour market performance? Second, can differences in first birth-risks be related to labour market performance? In other words, to what extent do the fertility decisions of successfully integrated individuals differ from those who are poorly integrated into the labour force? To account for the impact of cross-national differences in institutional settings, I contrast the continental conservative German welfare state with the liberal market economy of the UK. To account for gender-specific differences in opportunity costs, I distinguish between men and women in this analysis. Using longitudinal micro-data from the SOEP and BHPS, I apply a piecewise constant exponential hazard model. The results show a significantly reduced first-birth risk in the case of German men with weak occupational integration, as well as in the case of British and German women with pronounced labour market attachment. Furthermore, regarding the timing of family formation, a lengthy process of occupational integration tends to delay the transition to parenthood for both men and women, especially in Germany.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.88337.de/diw_sp0119.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 119.

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Length: 46 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp119

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Keywords: Fertilty; first-birth; occupational integration; cross-national comparison;

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References

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  1. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:41-74 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Katharina Wrohlich & Fabien Dell & Alexandre Baclet, 2005. "Steuerliche Familienförderung in Frankreich und Deutschland," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 72(33), pages 479-486.
  3. Elizabeth Thomson & Jan Hoem, 1998. "Couple childbearing plans and births in Sweden," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 315-322, August.
  4. Angelika Tölke, 2003. "Insecurities in employment and occupational careers and their impact on the transition to fatherhood in Western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  5. Angelika Tölke & Martin Diewald, 2003. "Insecurities in employment and occupational careers and their impact on the transition to fatherhood in Western Germany," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 9(3), pages 41-68, September.
  6. Eileen Trzcinski & Elke Holst, 2003. "Hohe Lebenszufriedenheit teilzeitbeschäftigter Mütter," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(35), pages 539-545.
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Cited by:
  1. Christian Schmitt, 2012. "Labour market integration, occupational uncertainty, and fertility choices in Germany and the UK," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(12), pages 253-292, April.

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