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Pre-Marital Fertility and Labour Market Opportunities: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study

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  • Emilia Del Bono

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of earnings and employment opportunities on pre-marital fertility. Using data from a sample of British women born in 1970, we estimate an independent competing risk harzard model of fertility and cohabitation decisions. Our results show that individual earnings opportunities are negatively related to pre-marital fertility but do not affect union formation. Local male unemployment, on the contrary, is a positive determinant of single motherhood and a negative factor in cohabitation decisions. The latter result is consistent with the Wilson hypothesis as it shows the existence of a direct effect of male joblessness on co-residential relationships.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 202.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:202

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Keywords: Fertility; Marriage; Competing Risks Harzard Models;

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  1. Olsen, Randall J & Farkas, George, 1990. "The Effect of Economic Opportunity and Family Background on Adolescent Cohabitation and Childbearing among Low-Income Blacks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(3), pages 341-62, July.
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  5. 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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  8. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
  9. Narendranathan, Wiji & Stewart, Mark B, 1991. "Simple Methods for Testing for the Proportionality of Cause-Specific Hazards in Competing Risk Models," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 53(3), pages 331-40, August.
  10. Lerman, Robert I, 1989. "Employment Opportunities of Young Men and Family Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 62-66, May.
  11. Robert G. Wood, 1995. "Marriage Rates and Marriageable Men: A Test of the Wilson Hypothesis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 163-193.
  12. Mark R. Rosenzweig, 1999. "Welfare, Marital Prospects, and Nonmarital Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S3-S32, December.
  13. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Han, Aaron & Hausman, Jerry A, 1990. "Flexible Parametric Estimation of Duration and Competing Risk Models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 1-28, January-M.
  18. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S33-S64, December.
  19. Mike Murphy, 2000. "Editorial: Cohabitation in Britain," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 163(2), pages 123-126.
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Cited by:
  1. Dylan Kneale & Ruth Lupton, 2010. "Are there neighbourhood effects on teenage parenthood in the UK, and does it matter for policy? A review of theory and evidence," CASE Papers case141, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.

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