The Next Birth and the Labour Market: A Dynamic Model of Births in England and Wales
The object of this paper is to see how far developments in the labour market can help to explain the fluctuations in births which have been experienced over the period 1952-1980 in England and Wales. We examine separately the period rate of childless women proceeding to the first birth, mothers of one child proceeding to a second birth, mothers of two proceeding to a third birth, and mothers of three proceeding to a fourth birth. Our analysis shows that different birth orders respond differently to economic variables, and different age groups within a parity also exhibit varying responses. We have found that growing real wages for both men and women tend to deter older parents from adding to existing families. In the early stages of family building, births are inhibited by labour markets favourable to women. But conditions in the male labour market have the reverse effect on early breeding.
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