IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Postponing maternity in Ireland

  • Cathal O'Donoghue
  • David Meredith
  • Eamon O'Shea

As in many other developed countries, Ireland has experienced a postponement of maternity. Whilst a number of authors have commented on this trend, suggesting greater female participation in the workforce results in delayed maternity, to date little research has tested this proposition. We develop a model to consider the main trends related to the phenomenon of maternity postponement, considering changes in first and later births separately. Using retrospective life history data developed from the 1994 Living In Ireland Survey we estimate a hazard model to empirically test the relationship between career planning and the timing of first and subsequent births. We incorporate a declining marginal return to experience and thereby provide a human capital/career planning explanation for maternity postponement. The results of our analysis demonstrate that career planning has an impact on the timing of maternity. The findings also establish an income effect that influences the timing of first births. Copyright The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Cambridge Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 35 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 59-84

in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:1:p:59-84
Contact details of provider: Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. James R. Walker, 1994. "The Effect of Public Policies on Recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Labor and Demography 9410001, EconWPA.
  2. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. repec:fda:fdaeee:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. 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.
  7. repec:fda:fdaeee:12 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:1:p:59-84. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.