Unemployment and fertility: evidence from German and Danish register data

Michaela Kreyenfeld, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Gunnar Andersson, Stockholm University

Over the last decades, most European countries have witnessed a dramatic shift of childbearing to older ages. Value change, female career orientation and emancipation have been identified as chief parameters for this development. Recently, it has been argued that youth unemployment, term-limited working contracts and unstable employment situations are other important factors that might explain the postponement of childbearing. In our project, we draw on two large scale register data sets to investigate the role that unemployment has for the transition to parenthood and subsequent childbearing. For Germany, we use data from the German pension records. For Denmark, we use data from the country’s system of population registers. Both data sets allow us to investigate how unemployment relates to fertility transitions, and, in particular, to study whether the role that unemployment plays in fertility is different for different population subgroups and birth orders. The direct comparison between Demark and Germany helps to shed light on the question how the welfare state shapes the (un)employment and fertility nexus.

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Presented in Session 9: Economics and Labour Market Issues