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The Impact of the Labour Market on the Timing of Marriage and Births in Spain

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  • Maria Gutierrez-Domenech

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper is to show how the labour market affects Spanish individual fertility decisions. Spain is an interesting case due to its huge fertility decline. Our hypothesis is that precarious Spanish labour markets (i.e. high unemployment rates and fixedterm contracts) postpone childbearing. We test if female employment (full and part-time) is a barrier for family formation. The study is done for a sample of both men and women. We analyse two groups, Cohort 1945-60 and Cohort 1961-77 in order to capture social changes. The paper focuses on the timing of marriage and the birth of a first, second and third child using a Cox hazard approach. Results show that female employment delays marriage in Cohort 1945-60 but it has a reverse effect in Cohort 1961-77. We also find that employed women (regardless of the number of hours) postpone first and second birth in any cohort, even accounting for any potential endogeneity between fertility and participation. Female labour market instability plays an important role in family formation, especially by putting off marriage. From our male sample analysis we learn that male unemployment, at the individual level, impacts negatively on fertility only through delaying marriage.

Suggested Citation

  • Maria Gutierrez-Domenech, 2002. "The Impact of the Labour Market on the Timing of Marriage and Births in Spain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0556, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0556
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 2000. "Flexibility vs. Rigidity: Does Spain have the worst of both Worlds?," IZA Discussion Papers 144, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Heckman, James J & Hotz, V Joseph & Walker, James R, 1985. "New Evidence on the Timing and Spacing of Births," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 179-184, May.
    3. Harvey S. James Jr., 1996. "The Impact of Female Employment on the Likelihood and Timing of Second and Higher Order Pregnancies," Labor and Demography 9612002, EconWPA.
    4. Pau Baizán Munoz & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2001. "Cohabitation, marriage, first birth: the interrelationship of family formation events in Spain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-036, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Employment careers and the timing of first births in East Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Lancaster, Tony, 1979. "Econometric Methods for the Duration of Unemployment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(4), pages 939-956, July.
    7. Adriaan S. Kalwij, 2000. "The effects of female employment status on the presence and number of children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 221-239.
    8. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2001. "Job bust, baby bust?: Evidence from Spain," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 505-521.
    9. Margaret Marini & Peter Hodsdon, 1981. "Effects of the timing of marriage and first birth of the spacing of subsequent births," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 18(4), pages 529-548, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech, 2005. "Employment Transitions after Motherhood in Spain," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 123-148, December.
    2. Mario García-Ferreira & Ernesto Villanueva, 2007. "Employment risk and household formation: evidence from differences in firing costs," Working Papers 0737, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    duration models; fertility; labour market; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General

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