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Job bust, baby bust: The Spanish case

  • Namkee Ahn
  • Pedro Mira

The unemployment rate in Spain has been exceptionally high for more than two decades by now. During the same period the fertility rate dropped dramatically reaching the lowest level in the world. In this study we look for evidence of a link between the 'unemployment crisis' and the 'fertility crisis' in Spain. We examine the factors that affect individuals' ages at marriage and childbirth, focusing on the effects of male employment status. Our results suggest that spells of non-employment have a very strong negative effect on the probability of marriage and childbearing. Part-time or temporal employment also shows negative (but smaller) effects relative to full-time or permanent employment. These effects are strongest on the age at marriage and the age at first birth, while the effects on subsequent births are considerably reduced. Our results suggest that lack of stable jobs among young men is one important factor that has forced many young people to delay their marriage and childbearing, lowering the period fertility rate in Spain to the lowest level in the world.

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Paper provided by FEDEA in its series Studies on the Spanish Economy with number 12.

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Handle: RePEc:fda:fdaeee:12
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