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Postponing Maternity in Ireland

Author

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  • O'Donoghue, Cathal

    () (Maastricht University)

  • Meredith, David

    () (Teagasc Rural Economy Research Centre)

  • O'Shea, Eamon

    () (National University of Ireland, Galway)

Abstract

As in many other developed countries, Ireland in recent decades has experienced a postponement of maternity. In this paper we consider the main trends in this phenomenon, considering changes in first and later births separately. We adapt the theoretical model due to Walker (1995) to incorporate a declining marginal return to experience to provide a human capital/career planning explanation for this postponement. We estimate a hazard model based upon the 1994 Living in Ireland Survey to empirically test this model. The career-planning hypothesis was found to hold. However an assumption about perfect capital markets failed indicating the impact of an income effect on the timing of maternity. The model also identified the importance of cohort differences in the timing of marriage in explaining much of the inter-cohort specific differences in the timing of maternity.

Suggested Citation

  • O'Donoghue, Cathal & Meredith, David & O'Shea, Eamon, 2009. "Postponing Maternity in Ireland," IZA Discussion Papers 4192, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Walker, James R, 1995. "The Effect of Public Policies on Recent Swedish Fertility Behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 8(3), pages 223-251, August.
    2. Hotz, V-J & Kerman, J-A & Willis, R-J, 1996. "The Economics of Fertility in Developed Countries : A Survey," Papers 96-09, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    3. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    5. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
    6. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
    7. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, "undated". "Job bust, baby bust: The Spanish case," Studies on the Spanish Economy 12, FEDEA.
    8. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-1441, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrián Nieto, 2018. "Permanent employment and fertility: The importance of job security and the career costs of childbearing," Discussion Papers 2018/01, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    2. María Davia & Nuria Legazpe, 2015. "Educational attainment and maternity in Spain: not only “when” but also “how”," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(4), pages 871-900, December.
    3. repec:esr:resser:rs70 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Danièle Meulders & Siv Gustavsson, 2006. "The rationale of motherhood choices: influence of employment conditions and public policies :MOCHO," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7734, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Aleksejs Melihovs, 2014. "Forecasting Natural Population Change: the Case of Latvia," Discussion Papers 2014/03, Latvijas Banka.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility; labour markets;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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