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Economic uncertainty and fertility postponement: evidence from German panel data

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  • Michaela Kreyenfeld

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

Abstract

This paper investigates whether economic uncertainty induces a postponement of family formation. We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel which provides longitudinal information of economic uncertainty and fertility for the period 1984 to 2004. We employ ‘objective’ measures of uncertainty (unemployment, fixed-term contract, low income) as well as ‘subjective’ measures (the feeling that the personal economic situation is insecure). Our results suggest that there is no clear indication that economic uncertainty generally leads to a postponement of parenthood. More highly educated women tend to postpone family formation when unemployed or when they feel insecure about their personal economic situation. However, women with low educational levels accommodate themselves quite readily with motherhood when subject to labor market insecurities.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2005. "Economic uncertainty and fertility postponement: evidence from German panel data," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2005-034
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2005-034.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kuhnt, Anne-Kristin & Buhr, Petra, 2016. "Biographical risks and their impact on uncertainty in fertility expectations: A gender-specific study based on the German Family Panel," Duisburger Beiträge zur soziologischen Forschung 2016-03, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Sociology.
    2. Sunder, Marco, 2009. "Human Capital and Fertility in Germany after 1990: Evidence from a Multi-Spell Model," IWH Discussion Papers 22/2009, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    3. Sunnee Billingsley, 2010. "The Post-Communist Fertility Puzzle," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 29(2), pages 193-231, April.
    4. Joanna Osiñska, 2013. "Postawy wzglêdem euro i ich determinanty– przegl¹d badañ i literatury przedmiotu," Working Papers 70, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    5. Prifti, Ervin & Vuri, Daniela, 2013. "Employment protection and fertility: Evidence from the 1990 Italian reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 77-88.
    6. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany: Implications for family formation and fertility," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 13004, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    7. Cordula Zabel, 2006. "Employment experience and first birth in Great Britain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. Monika A. Mynarska, 2007. "Fertility postponement and age norms in Poland: is there a deadline for parenthood?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    9. Francesca Modena & Concetta Rondinelli & Fabio Sabatini, 2014. "Economic Insecurity and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Italy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(S1), pages 233-255, May.
    10. Anna Matysiak & Dorota Węziak-Białowolska, 2016. "Country-Specific Conditions for Work and Family Reconciliation: An Attempt at Quantification," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(4), pages 475-510, October.
    11. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany: Implications for family formation and fertility," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00786291, HAL.
    12. Gete, Pedro & Porchia, Paolo, 2010. "Fertility and Consumption when Having a Child is a Risky Investment," MPRA Paper 27885, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2013. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany: Implications for family formation and fertility," Post-Print halshs-00786291, HAL.
    14. Fanti, Luciano & Manfredi, Piero, 2009. "Neoclassical production theory and growth with unemployment: The stability issue revisited," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 126-135, June.
    15. Paolo Porchia & Pedro Gete, 2011. "Fertility and Consumption when Having a Child is a Risky Investment," 2011 Meeting Papers 563, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Marie-Thérèse Letablier & Anne Salles, 2012. "Labour market uncertainties for the young workforce in France and Germany : implications for family formation and fertily," Working Papers 180, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    17. Anna Matysiak & Daniele Vignoli, 2006. "Fertility and women’s employment: a meta-analysis," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-048, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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