IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Is the future of work childless? Self-employment and fertility


  • Gonçalves, Judite
  • Martins, Pedro S.


The growth of self-employment and in particular gig work may explain part of the declining fertility rates observed in many countries. This study examines this question drawing on longitudinal data to compare women’s fertility, proxied by maternity leave uptake, when self-employed or wage workers. It considers the case of Portugal, which allows to focus on structural aspects of work types, as fertility-related social protection there does not discriminate between self-employment and wage work. Results indicate that there are no statistically significant differences in fertility between employees and self-employed women. These findings highlight the importance of social protection for the self-employed, at least as far as their fertility is concerned.

Suggested Citation

  • Gonçalves, Judite & Martins, Pedro S., 2019. "Is the future of work childless? Self-employment and fertility," GLO Discussion Paper Series 401, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:401

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    fertility; instrumental variables; maternity leave; self-employment;

    JEL classification:

    • C26 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Instrumental Variables (IV) Estimation
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:401. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.