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Postponing Maternity in Ireland

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Author Info

  • Cathal O'Donoghue
  • Eamon O'Shea

    (Department of Economics, 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 National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0076.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision: 2004
Handle: RePEc:nig:wpaper:0076

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Postal: St. Anthony's College, Newcastle Road, Galway
Phone: +353-91 524411 ext. 2501
Fax: +353-91 524130
Web page: http://economics.nuigalway.ie
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Related research

Keywords: demography trends; fertility;

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References

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  1. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Studies on the Spanish Economy 13, FEDEA.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. James R. Walker, 1994. "The Effect of Public Policies on Recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Labor and Demography 9410001, EconWPA.
  5. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "Job bust, baby bust: The Spanish case," Studies on the Spanish Economy 12, 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. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  8. 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.
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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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