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Clash of Career and Family: Fertility Decisions after Job Displacement

  • Emilia Del Bono
  • Andrea Weber
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer

In this paper we investigate how fertility decisions respond to unexpected career interruptions which occur as a consequence of job displacement. Using an event study approach we compare the birth rates of displaced women with those of women unaffected by job loss after establishing the pre-displacement comparability of these groups. Our results reveal that job displacement reduces average fertility by 5 to 10% in both the short and medium term (3 and 6 years) and that these effects are largely explained by the response of white collar women. Using an instrumental variable approach we provide evidence that the reduction in fertility is not due to the income loss generated by unemployment but arises because displaced workers undergo a career interruption. These results are interpreted in the light of a model in which the rate of human capital accumulation slows down after the birth of a child and all specific human capital is destroyed upon job loss.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-01/cesifo1_wp2180.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2180.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2180
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  1. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranaes, 2001. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," CESifo Working Paper Series 461, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Andrea Ichino & Guido Schwerdt & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Josef Zweimüller, 2007. "Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire?," Economics working papers 2007-15, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  3. H. Tien, 1967. "Mobility, Non-Familial Activity, and Fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 218-227, March.
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  5. Gary S. Becker, 1960. "An Economic Analysis of Fertility," NBER Chapters, in: Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, pages 209-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2006. "Lasting or Latent Scars? Swedish Evidence on the Long-Term Effects of Job Displacement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 831-856, October.
  7. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2000. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," NBER Working Papers 7527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Blackburn, McKinley L & Bloom, David E & Neumark, David, 1993. "Fertility Timing, Wages, and Human Capital," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-30.
  9. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  10. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2006. "Does Science Promote Women? Evidence from Academia 1973-2001," NBER Working Papers 12691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
  15. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
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  19. Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a "True Natural Experiment"," IZA Discussion Papers 1613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Goldin, Claudia, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women’s Employment, Education, and Family," Scholarly Articles 2943933, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  22. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  23. Guido Schwerdt, 2008. "Labor Turnover before Plant Closure: ‘Leaving the Sinking Ship’ vs. ‘Captain Throwing Ballast Overboard’," CESifo Working Paper Series 2252, CESifo Group Munich.
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  25. repec:bla:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:1:p:77-108 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Andrea Ichino & Guido Schwerdt & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer & Josef Zweimüller, 2007. "Too Old to Work, too Young to Retire?," CESifo Working Paper Series 2118, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. Schwerdt, Guido, 2011. "Labor turnover before plant closure: "Leaving the sinking ship" vs. "Captain throwing ballast overboard"," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 93-101, January.
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  36. Alicia Adsera, 2005. "Vanishing Children: From High Unemployment to Low Fertility in Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 189-193, May.
  37. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
  38. Sara Rica & Amaia Iza, 2005. "Career Planning in Spain: Do Fixed-term Contracts Delay Marriage and Parenthood?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 49-73, November.
  39. Paul A. Lengermann & Lars Vilhuber, 2002. "Abandoning the Sinking Ship: The Composition of Worker Flows Prior to Displacement," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  40. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
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