Fertility and Women’s Employment in Times of Economic Uncertainty

Trude Lappegard , University of Oslo
Tom Kornstad, Statistics Norway
Lars Dommermuth, Statistics Norway

The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between women’s employment and childbearing in times of economic uncertainty. The point of departure is a somewhat puzzling downward trend in fertility level in the Nordic countries after the financial crisis. We ask whether it is more difficult to combine full-time work with childbearing, and we are especially interested in whether the effect differ by women’s educational attainment. We use high quality register data including complete fertility and employment histories for all women covering a period of more than 20 years. Preliminary results show a positive effect of full-time employment on first and second birth, but not on higher parities, and the effect of female full-time employment on fertility is stronger after the financial crisis than before. If economic uncertainty continues, and if it is difficult to get a full-time job (especially a long-term stable one), fertility might remain low.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 58. Labor Market Change and Fertility