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Employment, family union, and childbearing decisions in Great Britain

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  • Aassve, Arnstein
  • Burgess, Simon
  • Propper, Carol
  • Dickson, Matt

Abstract

The paper investigates the relationship between work and family life in Britain. Using appropriate statistical 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Aassve, Arnstein & Burgess, Simon & Propper, Carol & Dickson, Matt, 2004. "Employment, family union, and childbearing decisions in Great Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6306, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:6306
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6306/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Arnstein Aassve, 2003. "The impact of economic resources on premarital childbearing and subsequent marriage among young American women," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 40(1), pages 105-126, February.
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    5. 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.
    6. Lee Lillard & Linda Waite, 1993. "A joint model of marital childbearing and marital disruption," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 30(4), pages 653-681, November.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Hillard & Linda Waite, "undated". "Cohabitation, Marriage, and Non-Fertility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 97-5, Chicago - Population Research Center.
    10. Robert J. Willis, 1999. "A Theory of Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 33-64, December.
    11. Dawn Upchurch & Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 2002. "Nonmarital childbearing: Influences of education, marriage, and fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 311-329, May.
    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Baranowska-Rataj & Anna Matysiak, 2016. "The Causal Effects of the Number of Children on Female Employment - Do European Institutional and Gender Conditions Matter?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 343-367, September.
    2. Martin Biewen, 2004. "Measuring State Dependence in Individual Poverty Status: Are there Feedback Effects to Employment Decisions and Household Composition?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 429, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Arnstein Aassve & Simon Burgess & Matt Dickson & Carol Propper, 2005. "Modelling Poverty by not Modelling Poverty: An Application of a Simultaneous Hazards Approach to the UK," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 05/134, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    4. John Hobcraft, 2008. "The timing and partnership context of becoming a parent," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(34), pages 1281-1322, July.
    5. Özgören, Ay?e Abbaso?lu & Ergöçmen, Banu & Tansel, Aysit, 2017. "Birth and Employment Transitions of Women in Turkey: Conflicting or Compatible Roles?," IZA Discussion Papers 11238, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Eirini Andriopoulou & Panagiotis Tsakloglou, "undated". "The determinants of poverty transitions in Europe and the role of duration dependence," DEOS Working Papers 1119, Athens University of Economics and Business.
    7. Elizabeth Thomson & Maria Winkler-Dworak & Martin Spielauer & Alexia Prskawetz, 2012. "Union Instability as an Engine of Fertility? A Microsimulation Model for France," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 175-195, February.
    8. Nicoletta Balbo & Nicola Barban & Melinda Mills, 2013. "Friend and peer effects on entry into marriage and parenthood: A multiprocess approach," Working Papers 056, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    9. Helske, Satu & Steele, Fiona & Kokko, Katja & Räikkönen, Eija & Eerola, Mervi, 2015. "Partnership formation and dissolution over the life course: applying sequence analysis and event history analysis in the study of recurrent events," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 62244, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    10. Biewen, Martin & Seifert, Stefanie, 2016. "Potential Parenthood and Career Progression of Men and Women: A Simultaneous Hazards Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10050, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Fiona Steele & Constantinos Kallis & Harvey Goldstein & Heather Joshi, 2005. "The relationship between childbearing and transitions from marriage and cohabitation in Britain," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 647-673, November.
    12. Niedergesäss, Markus, 2013. "Employment, partnership and childbearing decisions of German women and men: A simultaneous hazards approach," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 51, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    13. Leone, Tiziana & Hinde, Andrew, 2007. "Fertility and union dissolution in Brazil: an example of multi-process modelling using the Demographic and Health Survey calendar data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 14701, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Anna Matysiak & Daniele Vignoli, 2011. "Different women’s employment and fertility behaviours in similar institutional settings: Evidence from Italy and Poland," Working Papers 41, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    15. Tiziana Leone & Andrew Hinde, 2007. "Fertility and union dissolution in Brazil: an example of multi-process modelling using the Demographic and Health Survey calendar data," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(7), pages 157-180, October.
    16. Hendrik Thiel & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2015. "Individual Poverty Paths and the Stability of Control-Perception," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 794, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    17. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:28 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    demographic transitions; marriage; divorce; birth; employment;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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