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Postponing maternity in Ireland

Author

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

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Cathal O'Donoghue & David Meredith & Eamon O'Shea, 2011. "Postponing maternity in Ireland," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 59-84.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:1:p:59-84
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/beq010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Walker, James R, 1995. "The Effect of Public Policies on Recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 8(3), pages 223-251, August.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    5. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
    6. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
    7. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, "undated". "Job bust, baby bust: The Spanish case," Studies on the Spanish Economy 12, FEDEA.
    8. 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 1411-1441, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrián Nieto, 2018. "Permanent employment and fertility: The importance of job security and the career costs of childbearing," Discussion Papers 2018/01, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    2. María Davia & Nuria Legazpe, 2015. "Educational attainment and maternity in Spain: not only “when” but also “how”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 871-900, December.
    3. repec:esr:resser:rs70 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Danièle Meulders & Siv Gustavsson, 2006. "The rationale of motherhood choices: influence of employment conditions and public policies :MOCHO," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7734, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Aleksejs Melihovs, 2014. "Forecasting Natural Population Change: the Case of Latvia," Discussion Papers 2014/03, Latvijas Banka.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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