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Clash Of Career And Family: Fertility Decisions After Job Displacement

  • Emilia Del Bono
  • Andrea Weber
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer

In this paper we investigate how fertility decisions respond to unex- pected career interruptions which occur as a consequence of job displace- ment. Using an event study approach we compare the birth rates of dis- placed women with those of women una®ected by job loss after establish- ing the pre-displacement comparability of these groups. Our results reveal that job displacement reduces average fertility by 5 to 10% in both the short and medium term (3 and 6 years) and that these e®ects are largely explained by the response of white collar women. Using an instrumen- tal variable approach we provide evidence that the reduction in fertility is not due to the income loss generated by unemployment but arises be- cause displaced workers undergo a career interruption. These results are interpreted in the light of a model in which the rate of human capital accumulation slows down after the birth of a child and all specific human capital is destroyed upon job loss.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1542-4774.2012.01074.x
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Article provided by European Economic Association in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 10 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (08)
Pages: 659-683

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:10:y:2012:i:4:p:659-683
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  9. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, . "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a ”True Natural Experiment”," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  10. Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2002. "On the changing correlation between fertility and female employment over space and time," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-052, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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