Pre-Marital Fertility and Labour Market Opportunities: Evidence from the 1970 British Cohort Study
This paper investigates the effect of earnings and employment opportunities on pre-marital fertility. Using data from a sample of British women born in 1970, we estimate an independent competing risks hazard model of fertility and cohabitation decisions. Our results show that individual earnings opportunities are negatively related to pre-marital fertility but do not affect union formation. Local male unemployment, on the contrary, is a positive determinant of single motherhood and a negative factor in cohabitation decisions. The latter result is consistent with the Wilson hypothesis as it shows the existence of a direct effect of male joblessness on co-residential relationships.
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