Does Economic Uncertainty Affect Fertility? Evidence from France

Ariane Pailhe, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Anne Solaz, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

This paper examines the impact of unemployment and insecure working conditions on the propensity and timing of parenthood in France, where fertility stands at a rather high level despite a high rate of youth unemployment. Does an insecure employment spell affect fertility plans? Is fertility merely delayed or is completed fertility also affected? Does economic uncertainty have similar effects for men and women? Life-event models (on timing) and least square models (on completed fertility) are implemented on Family and Employer survey data (INED-2004). Job history with unemployment reduces completed fertility by affecting the overall timing of births. Short-term jobs have a weaker effect, except on male fertility plans. The article emphasizes that female and male childbearing desires do not have the same determinants, because of prevailing social norms. Fertility timing and completed fertility are the result of a negotiation in which the employment uncertainty of each partner plays a role.

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Presented in Poster Session 3