The combinability between work and motherhood and the ideal age to have children: an analysis based on 2006-2007 European Social Survey data

Hideko Matsuo, Université Catholique de Louvain

This paper asks whether what women perceive to be the ideal age of having children differs across countries, in line with the cross-country variation in the opportunity costs of having children. It hypothesizes that it does. Concretely, this paper hypothesizes that the lower the (perceived) opportunity costs of having children, the lower the perceived ideal age of having children, and the higher the (perceived) opportunity costs of having children, the higher the perceived ideal age of having children. This paper makes use of data from the third round of the European Social Survey (ESS), which was carried out in the period 2006-2007 in 25 European countries, and included a rotating module on the timing of major life course events.

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Presented in Session 73: Fertility and Parallel Careers

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