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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 Studies on the Spanish Economy with number 12.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaeee:12

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  1. Schultz, T. Paul, 1993. "Demand for children in low income countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 349-430 Elsevier.
  2. Valerie Oppenheimer & Matthijs Kalmijn & Nelson Lim, 1997. "Men’s career development and marriage timing during a period of rising inequality," Demography, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 311-330, August.
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  8. Joseph Hotz, V. & Klerman, Jacob Alex & Willis, Robert J., 1993. "The economics of fertility in developed countries," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 275-347 Elsevier.
  9. 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 174, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  10. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
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  14. Anderson, Kathryn H. & Hill, M. Anne & Butler, J. S., 1987. "Age at marriage in Malaysia : A hazard model of marriage timing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 223-234, August.
  15. Angrist, Joshua D & Evans, William N, 1998. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 450-77, June.
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  17. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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 46, FEDEA.
  2. Cathal O'Donoghue & David Meredith & Eamon O'Shea, 2011. "Postponing maternity in Ireland," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 59-84.
  3. 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 355, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  4. 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).
  5. 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 WP-2001-037, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  6. 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 148, FEDEA.

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