Women's Employment in Post-Socialist Poland: A Barrier to or a Precondition for Childbearing?

Anna Matysiak, Warsaw School of Economics

We model interdependencies between fertility and women's employment in post-socialist Poland. After 1989 this country experienced a rapid decline in fertility and employment. Since finding and maintaining employment became difficult and the state limited its support for families it has been hypothesised that women postpone childbearing until they find a job. If this is the case one can expect that fertility intentions are positively correlated with long-term plans on the involvement into employment. This hypothesis is tested by simultaneous estimation of three hazard models: transition to birth, employment entry and employment exit. Our results reveal a strong conflict between fertility and women's work. On the other hand, they indicate that women self-select themselves into work prior to birth which suggests that they view employment as necessary for family formation. The question that remains to be answered is whether this behaviour is due to economic reasons or a desire for self-accomplishment.

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Presented in Session 167: Gender and Labor Force Participation in Different National Contexts