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Employment Uncertainty and Fertility: A Network Meta-Analysis of European Research Findings

Giammarco Alderotti (), Daniele Vignoli (), Michela Baccini () and Anna Matysiak ()
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Giammarco Alderotti: Sapienza, Università di Roma
Michela Baccini: Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti", Università di Firenze, https://www.disia.unifi.it

No 2019_06, Econometrics Working Papers Archive from Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti"

Abstract: The relationship between employment uncertainty and fertility is a major topic in demographic research. Since, particularly, the Great Recession , increasing numbers of papers on this matter have been published. Uncertainty is usually deemed to have a negative effect on fertility, but different fertility reactions are hypothesized by sociological theories, and micro-level evidence is fragmentary and contradictory. In this article, we use network meta-analysis to synthesize European research findings and to offer general conclusions about the effects of employment uncertainty on fertility (in terms of direction and size) and to rank different sources of uncertainty. Our results suggest that employment uncertainty is detrimental for fertility. For men, being unemployed is more detrimental for fertility than having time-limited employment; for women, time-limited employment is the worst condition for fertility, while unemployment is often used as an opportunity window for having children. Next, the negative effect of time-limited employment on fertility has become stronger over time, and is more severe in Southern European countries, where social protection for families and the unemployed is least generous. Finally, we demonstrate that failing to account for income and partner’s characteristics leads to an overestimation of the negative effect of employment uncertainty on fertility. We advance the role of these two factors as potential mechanisms by which employment uncertainty affects fertility.

Keywords: employment uncertainty; fertility; meta-analysis; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 J21 J81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2019-07
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-eur and nep-lma
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