Gender-Specific Effects of Unemployment on Family Formation: A Cross-National Perspective
AbstractThis paper investigates the impact of unemployment on the propensity to start a family. Unemployment is accompanied by bad occupational prospects and impending economic deprivation, placing the well-being of a future family at risk. I analyze unemployment at the intersection of state-dependence and the reduced opportunity costs of parenthood, distinguishing between men and women across a set of welfare states. Using micro-data from the European Community Household Panel (ECHP), I apply event history methods to analyze longitudinal samples of first-birth transitions in France, Finland, Germany, and the UK (1994-2001). The results highlight spurious negative effects of unemployment on family formation among men, which can be attributed to the lack of breadwinner capabilities in the inability to financially support a family. Women, in contrast, show positive effects of unemployment on the propensity to have a first child in all countries except France. These effects prevail even after controlling for labour market and income-related factors. The findings are pronounced in Germany and the UK where work-family conflicts are the cause of high opportunity costs of motherhood, and the gender-specific division of labour is still highly traditional. Particularly among women with a moderate and low level of education, unemployment clearly increases the likelihood to have a first child.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 127.
Length: 72 p.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
family formation; fertility; unemployment; cross-national comparison;
Other versions of this item:
- Christian Schmitt, 2008. "Gender-Specific Effects of Unemployment on Family Formation: A Cross-National Perspective," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 841, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
- C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-EEC-2008-09-20 (European Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2008-09-20 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Pellizzari, Michele, 2006.
"Unemployment duration and the interactions between unemployment insurance and social assistance,"
Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 773-798, December.
- Michele Pellizzari, 2004. "Unemployment Duration and the Interactions Between Unemployment Insurance and Social Assistance," Working Papers 272, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
- 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.
- Witte, James C. & Wagner, Gert G., 1995. "Declining Fertility in East Germany After Unification: A Demographic Response to Socioeconomic Change," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 387-397.
- Virve Ollikainen, 2006. "Gender Differences in Transitions from Unemployment: Micro Evidence from Finland," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 20(1), pages 159-198, 03.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eileen Trzcinski & Elke Holst, 2003. "Hohe Lebenszufriedenheit teilzeitbeschäftigter Mütter," DIW Wochenbericht, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 70(35), pages 539-545.
- 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).
- Ariane Pailhé & Anne Solaz, 2012. "The influence of employment uncertainty on childbearing in France: A tempo or quantum effect?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(1), pages 1-40, January.
- Petra Stein & Sebastian Willen & Monika Pavetic, 2014. "Couples' fertility decision-making," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(63), pages 1697-1732, June.
- repec:hal:journl:halshs-00786291 is not listed on IDEAS
- Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany: Implications for family formation and fertility," UniversitÃ© Paris1 PanthÃ©on-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00786291, HAL.
- 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.
- Michael Kind & Jan Kleibrink, 2013. "Sooner or Later – Economic Insecurity and the Timing of First Birth," Ruhr Economic Papers 0422, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bibliothek).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.