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Clash of Career and Family: Fertility Decisions after Job Displacement

In this paper we investigate how fertility decisions respond to unex- pected career interruptions which occur as a consequence of job displace- ment. Using an event study approach we compare the birth rates of dis- placed women with those of women una®ected by job loss after establish- ing the pre-displacement comparability of these groups. Our results reveal that job displacement reduces average fertility by 5 to 10% in both the short and medium term (3 and 6 years) and that these e®ects are largely explained by the response of white collar women. Using an instrumen- tal variable approach we provide evidence that the reduction in fertility is not due to the income loss generated by unemployment but arises be- cause displaced workers undergo a career interruption. These results are interpreted in the light of a model in which the rate of human capital accumulation slows down after the birth of a child and all specific human capital is destroyed upon job loss.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2008-02.

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Date of creation: Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2008_02
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  1. Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2002. "On the changing correlation between fertility and female employment over space and time," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-052, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  2. Gerard A. Pfann & Daniel S. Hamermesh, 2000. "Two-Sided Learning, Labor Turnover, and Worker Displacement," Working Papers 0021, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  3. Martha J Bailey, 2006. "More Power to the Pill: The Impact of Contraceptive Freedom on Women's Life Cycle Labor Supply," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(1), pages 289-320, 02.
  4. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Dustmann, Christian & Meghir, Costas, 1999. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," CEPR Discussion Papers 2077, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Cash-On-Hand and Competing Models of Intertemporal Behavior: New Evidence from the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1511-1560, November.
  8. Ichino, Andrea & Schwerdt, Guido & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 2007. "Too Old to Work, Too Young to Retire?," IZA Discussion Papers 3110, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Sara Rica & Amaia Iza, 2005. "Career Planning in Spain: Do Fixed-term Contracts Delay Marriage and Parenthood?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 49-73, November.
  10. Rafael Lalive & Josef Zweimüller, . "Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a ”True Natural Experiment”," IEW - Working Papers 242, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  11. Lechner, Michael & Wiehler, Stephan, 2007. "Kids or Courses? Gender Differences in the Effects of Active Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 2740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. 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.
  13. Donna K. Ginther & Shulamit Kahn, 2009. "Does Science Promote Women? Evidence from Academia 1973-2001," NBER Chapters, in: Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment, pages 163-194 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Bloom, D.E. & Freeman, R.B. & Blackburn, M.L., 1991. "Fertility Timing, Wages, and Human Capital," Discussion Papers 1991_49, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  16. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
  17. Rasmus Lentz & Torben Tranæs, 2002. "Job Search and Savings: Wealth Effects and Duration Dependence," CAM Working Papers 2004-11, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics, revised Nov 2003.
  18. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  19. Paul A. Lengermann & Lars Vilhuber, 2002. "Abandoning the Sinking Ship: The Composition of Worker Flows Prior to Displacement," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  20. repec:bla:restud:v:72:y:2005:i:1:p:77-108 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 2000. "The Power of the Pill: Oral Contraceptives and Women's Career and Marriage Decisions," NBER Working Papers 7527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Ahn, N. & Mira, P., 1999. "A Note on the Changing Relationship Between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries," Papers 9903, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
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  24. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1995. "Early-Career Work Experience and Gender Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 121-54, January.
  25. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
  26. Alicia Adsera, 2005. "Vanishing Children: From High Unemployment to Low Fertility in Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 189-193, May.
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  30. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  31. Butz, William P & Ward, Michael P, 1979. "The Emergence of Countercyclical U.S. Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(3), pages 318-28, June.
  32. Marcus Eliason & Donald Storrie, 2006. "Lasting or Latent Scars? Swedish Evidence on the Long-Term Effects of Job Displacement," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 831-856, October.
  33. Paul A. Lengermann, 2002. "Is it Who You Are, Where You Work, or With Whom You Work? Reassessing the Relationship Between Skill Segregation and Wage Inequality," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  34. H. Tien, 1967. "Mobility, Non-Familial Activity, and Fertility," Demography, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 218-227, March.
  35. Amalia Miller, 2011. "The effects of motherhood timing on career path," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 1071-1100, July.
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