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Job bust, baby bust: the Spanish case

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  • Namkee Ahn
  • Pedro Mira

Abstract

The unemployment rate in Spain has been exceptionally high for more than two decades by now. During the same period the fertility rate dropped dramatically reaching the lowest level in the world. In this study we look for evidence of a link between the 'unemployment crisis' and the 'fertility crisis' in Spain. We examine the factors that affect individuals' ages at marriage and childbirth, focusing on the effects of male employment status. Our results suggest that spells of non-employment have a very strong negative effect on the probability of marriage and childbearing. Part-time or temporal employment also shows negative (but smaller) effects relative to full-time or permanent employment. These effects are strongest on the age at marriage and the age at first birth, while the effects on subsequent births are considerably reduced. Our results suggest that lack of stable jobs among young men is one important factor that has forced many young people to delay their marriage and childbearing, lowering the period fertility rate in Spain to the lowest level in the world.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Working Papers with number 99-06.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaddt:99-06

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Keywords: unemployment; age at marriage; age at first birth; birth int;

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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Macunovich, D.J., 1996. "Relative Income and Price of Time: Exploring their effcts on U.S. Fertility and Female Labor Force Participation, 1963-1993," Department of Economics Working Papers, Department of Economics, Williams College 174, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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Cited by:
  1. Cathal O'Donoghue & David Meredith & Eamon O'Shea, 2011. "Postponing maternity in Ireland," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 59-84.
  2. Cervini-Plá, María & Ramos, Xavi, 2008. "Long Term Earnings Inequality, Earnings Instability and Temporary Employment in Spain: 1993–2000," IZA Discussion Papers 3538, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Jaime Vallés Giménez & Anabel Zárate Marco, . "Influyen las ayudas públicas por descendientes la fecundidad?. Un estudio para España por tramos de edad," Studies on the Spanish Economy, FEDEA 148, FEDEA.
  4. Thomas A. DiPrete & S. Philip Morgan & Henriette Engelhardt & Hana Pacalova, 2003. "Do Cross-National Differences in the Costs of Children Generate Cross-National Differences in Fertility Rates?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research 355, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. Olga Cantó-Sánchez & Magda Mercader-Prats, . "Poverty among children and youth in Spain: The role of parents and youth employment status," Studies on the Spanish Economy, FEDEA 46, FEDEA.
  6. Pau Baizán Munoz & Francesca Michielin & Francesco C. Billari, 2001. "Political economy and life course patterns: the heterogeneity of occupational, family and household trajectories of young spaniards," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2001-037, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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