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Employment, family union, and childbearing decisions in Great Britain

  • Arnstein Aassve

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Simon Burgess
  • Carol Propper
  • Matt Dickson

The paper investigates the relationship of work and family life in Britain. Using hazard regression techniques we estimate a five-equation model, which includes birth events, union formation, union dissolution, employment and non-employment events. The model allows for unobserved heterogeneity that is correlated across all five equations. We use information from the British Household Panel Survey, including the retrospective histories concerning work, union, and child bearing, to estimate this model. We obtain well-defined parameter estimates, including significant and correlated unobserved heterogeneity. We find that transitions in and out of employment for men are relatively independent of other transitions. In contrast, there are strong links between female employment, having children and union formation. By undertaking a detailed micro simulations analysis, we show that different levels of female labour force participation do not necessarily lead to large changes in fertility levels. Changes in union formation and fertility levels, on the other hand, do have a significant impact on employment rates.

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File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2003-027.pdf
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Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2003-027.

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Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2003-027
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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  1. Lillard, Lee A., 1993. "Simultaneous equations for hazards : Marriage duration and fertility timing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 189-217, March.
  2. Dawn Upchurch & Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 2002. "Nonmarital childbearing: Influences of education, marriage, and fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 311-329, May.
  3. Newman, John L & McCulloch, Charles E, 1984. "A Hazard Rate Approach to the Timing of Births," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 939-61, July.
  4. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1993. "A Joint Model of Marital Childbearing and Marital Disruption," Papers 93-02, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  5. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Hillard & Linda Waite, . "Cohabitation, Marriage, and Non-Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 97-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  6. Arnstein Aassve, 2003. "The impact of economic resources on premarital childbearing and subsequent marriage among young American women," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(1), pages 105-126, February.
  7. Michael J. Brien, 1997. "Racial Differences in Marriage and the Role of Marriage Markets," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 741-778.
  8. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S33-S64, December.
  9. Pau Baizán & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2002. "Institutional arrangements and life course outcomes: the interrelations between cohabitation, marriage and first birth in Germany and Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-026, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  10. Arnstein Aassve & Simon Burgess & Andrew Chesher & Carol Propper, 2001. "Transitions from home to marriage of young Americans," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  11. Wolfe, Barbara & Wilson, Kathryn & Haveman, Robert, 2001. "The role of economic incentives in teenage nonmarital childbearing choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 473-511, September.
  12. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
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