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Postponing Maternity in Ireland

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Author Info

  • O'Donoghue, Cathal

    ()
    (Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre)

  • Meredith, David

    ()
    (Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre)

  • O'Shea, Eamon

    ()
    (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Abstract

As in many other developed countries, Ireland in recent decades has experienced a postponement of maternity. In this paper we consider the main trends in this phenomenon, considering changes in first and later births separately. We adapt the theoretical model due to Walker (1995) to incorporate a declining marginal return to experience to provide a human capital/career planning explanation for this postponement. We estimate a hazard model based upon the 1994 Living in Ireland Survey to empirically test this model. The career-planning hypothesis was found to hold. However an assumption about perfect capital markets failed indicating the impact of an income effect on the timing of maternity. The model also identified the importance of cohort differences in the timing of marriage in explaining much of the inter-cohort specific differences in the timing of maternity.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4192.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: May 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2011, 35 (1), 59 - 84
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4192

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Keywords: fertility; labour markets;

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References

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  1. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Walker, J.R., 1994. "The Effect of Public Policies on recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Working papers 9422, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  5. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "Job bust, baby bust: the Spanish case," Working Papers 99-06, FEDEA.
  6. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  7. Hotz, V-J & Kerman, J-A & Willis, R-J, 1996. "The Economics of Fertility in Developed Countries : A Survey," Papers 96-09, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  8. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Danièle Meulders & Siv Gustavsson, 2006. "The rationale of motherhood choices: influence of employment conditions and public policies :MOCHO," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7734, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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