The Impact of Aggregate Unemployment on Individual-Level Fertility: Variations across Welfare Regime and Women’s Educational Level

Pau Baizan-Munoz , Universitat Pompeu Fabra and ICREA
Maike Van Damme, Centre D'Estudis Demografics (CED)

In this paper we examine the impact of the country-level unemployment rates on individual-level fertility behavior in 26 European countries during the period 1990-2016. We assess how the impact of aggregate unemployment varies by parity, educational level and welfare regime context. We hypothesize that the impact of the aggregate unemployment depends on the work-family arrangements prevalent in each country and on how they differ by educational level. We use retrospective fertility histories derived from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EUSILC) for the year 2016 and contextual unemployment data. The results of the event history analyses with country fixed effects show substantial differences in the effect of unemployment by welfare regime and educational level. The overall effects of unemployment for first birth are negative and statistically significant for the Southern, Nordic and Liberal regimes. For second births, the effects of unemployment are negative for the Southern countries and positive for the Conservative countries. Yet, these results conceal substantial welfare regime disparities by educational attainment.

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 Presented in Session 125. Labour Market Conditions and Fertility