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Labour market integration, occupational uncertainty, and fertility choices in Germany and the UK

  • Christian Schmitt

    (University of Rostock)

The aim of this paper is to investigate how occupational prospects affect first-birth decisions of men and women. Contrasting the continental conservative German welfare state with the liberal market economy of the UK, the focus of analyses rests on how welfare state alignment affects fertility rationales in the context of either promising or bleak occupational prospects. The results based on data from BHPS and GSOEP show that welfare state orientations influence work-family choices, evoking a delay of family formation among British and German women with a close labour market attachment. Furthermore, a lengthy process of occupational integration tends to hamper the transition to parenthood among both men and women, and particularly in Germany.

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Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 12 (April)
Pages: 253-292

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Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:26:y:2012:i:12
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  1. Christian Schmitt, 2008. "Labour Market Integration and the Transition to Parenthood: A Comparison of Germany and the UK," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 119, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  2. Patricia Apps & Ray Rees, 2005. "Gender, Time Use, and Public Policy over the Life Cycle," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(3), pages 439-461, Autumn.
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  4. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  5. Dawn Upchurch & Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 2002. "Nonmarital childbearing: Influences of education, marriage, and fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 311-329, May.
  6. Peter McDonald, 2000. "Gender Equity in Theories of Fertility Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 427-439.
  7. Angelika Tölke & Martin Diewald, 2003. "Insecurities in employment and occupational careers and their impact on the transition to fatherhood in Western Germany," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 9(3), pages 41-68, September.
  8. Andres Vikat, 2004. "Women’s labor force attachment and childbearing in Finland," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-001, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  9. S. Philip Morgan, 2003. "Is low fertility a twenty-first-century demographic crisis?," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 589-603, November.
  10. Øystein Kravdal, 2002. "The impact of individual and aggregate unemployment on fertility in Norway," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(10), pages 263-294, April.
  11. repec:cai:poeine:pope_203_0475 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Elizabeth Thomson & Jan Hoem, 1998. "Couple childbearing plans and births in Sweden," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 315-322, August.
  13. Linda Haas, 2003. "Parental Leave and Gender Equality: Lessons from the European Union," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 20(1), pages 89-114, 03.
  14. repec:cai:poeine:pope_202_0301 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. FFF1Andres NNN1Vikat, 2004. "Women’s Labor Force Attachment and Childbearing in Finland," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(8), pages 177-212, April.
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