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Education, labour, and the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe

Listed author(s):
  • Hippolyte D'Albis

    ()

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Angela Greulich

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, ERUDITE - Equipe de Recherche sur l’Utilisation des Données Individuelles en lien avec la Théorie Economique - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)

Background: This article questions the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe. Objective: Starting from the fact that there is no obvious link between the timing of first births and fertility levels in Europe, we find that under certain circumstances, birth postponement potentially facilitates rather than impedes starting a family. Methods: We apply a synthetic cohort approach and distinguish between different socioeconomic determinants of the timing of first births by using the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). Data is compiled specifically to reduce endogeneity and to eliminate structure effects. Results: We find that the probability of becoming a mother is higher for women who postpone first childbirth due to education and career investment than for women who postpone due to unrealized labour market integration. Conclusions: Educated and economically active women certainly postpone first childbirth in comparison to women who are less educated and who are not working, but they end up with a higher probability of starting a family. Contribution: The article contributes to the academic discussion of circumstances that may lead to birth postponement resulting in higher fertility for younger cohorts in European countries.

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File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01509665/document
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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number halshs-01509665.

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Date of creation: 2017
Publication status: Published in Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, 2017, 36 (23), pp.691-728. 〈10.4054/DemRes.2017.36.23〉
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-01509665
DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2017.36.23
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01509665
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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