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The impact of individual and aggregate unemployment on fertility in Norway

  • Øystein Kravdal

    (University of Oslo)

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    Continuous-time hazard models are estimated from register-based birth, migration, education and unemployment histories for the complete Norwegian population, linked with aggregate data for municipalities. The analysis covers the period 1992-98. First-birth rates are slightly higher among women who had been unemployed twelve months before than among others, whereas higher-order birth rates are slightly lower. Although men’s unemployment has a more pronounced negative effect, according to paternity rate models, the overall conclusion is that unemployment in Norway has had a negligible impact on fertility through individual-level effects. Aggregate-level effects are more important. Higher-order birth rates are lower in municipalities where men’s or women’s unemployment is high than elsewhere. All in all, the peak unemployment level of 6% experienced in 1993 is found to be associated with a reduction of about 0.08 in total fertility. The results accord well with economic theories for first and higher-order births that are based on the assumption that women are still the primary caretakers.

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

    Volume (Year): 6 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 10 (April)
    Pages: 263-294

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:6:y:2002:i:10
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    1. ûivind Anti Nilsen & Alf Erling Risa & Alf Torstensen, 2000. "Transitions from employment among young Norwegian workers," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 21-34.
    2. Tzannatos, Zafiris & Symons, James, 1989. "An Economic Approach to Fertility in Britain since 1860," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 121-38.
    3. Macunovich, D.J., 1996. "Relative Income and Price of Time: Exploring their effcts on U.S. Fertility and Female Labor Force Participation, 1963-1993," Department of Economics Working Papers 174, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    4. Roed,K. & Zhang,T., 2000. "Labour market transitions and economic incentives," Memorandum 15/2000, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    5. Macunovich, D.J. & Easterlin, R.A., 1990. "Application Of Granger-Sims Causality Tests To Monthly Fertility Data, 1958-1984," Department of Economics Working Papers 142, Department of Economics, Williams College.
    6. John Ermisch, 1988. "Econometric Analysis of Birth Rate Dynamics in Britain," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 563-576.
    7. De Cooman, Eric & Ermisch, John F & Joshi, Heather, 1985. "The Next Birth and the Labour Market: A Dynamic Model of Births in England and Wales," CEPR Discussion Papers 37, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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