Cross-country comparisons of fertility intentions and employment stability

Irena E. Kotowska, Warsaw School of Economics
Katarzyna Kocot-Górecka, Warsaw School of Economics

Relationships between the labour market instability, economic uncertainty and job precariousness and the family formation process receive an increasing focus in studies on family change. Despite different labour market structures and policies in the EU countries these characteristics of the contemporary labour market are considered as common factors affecting decisions among the young of starting a family and having children. The aim of the paper is to analyse possible impacts of the labour market related factors on fertility intentions of men and women in four EU countries: Germany, Italy, Poland and Slovenia. These countries represent different labour market structures, institutional and cultural settings. The analysis is based on the survey, which was carried out in June-September 2006 by the standarised questionnaire in Rome, Hamburg, Ljubljana and Warsaw under the EU project “Job instability and changes in family and household trends’, coordinated by the Department of Demography, University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Fertility intentions have been modelled separately for childless respondents and parents with one child. Logistic regressions include the ‘job’ variables (permanent job contract vs. temporary job, the labour market status of respondent and his/her partner, the type of employment), the attitude towards paid work, housing conditions, the distribution of household duties by gender, availability of child care, a value of children. Estimation results show that despite different socio-economic and cultural settings and different modes of family-work arrangements in countries under study the job stability and partner’s employment stimulate fertility intentions of both men and women. For women with one child equal sharing the household responsibilities contributed positively to intentions of having a subsequent child.

Presented in Session 92: Insecurities in the Labor Market, Female Employment and Fertility