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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. 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, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
  2. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
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  17. repec:eui:euiwps:eco2007/22 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2002. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," Scholarly Articles 2624453, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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  28. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, . "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a ”True Natural Experiment”," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
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