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Education, Labour, and the Demographic Consequences of Birth Postponement in Europe

Hippolyte d'Albis (), Angela Greulich and Gregory Ponthiere ()

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Abstract: This paper questions the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe. Starting from the fact that there is no obvious link between the timing of first births and fertility levels in Europe, we deliver some indication that under certain circumstances, birth postponement involves the potential of facilitating rather than impedes starting a family. We apply a synthetic cohort approach and distinguish between different socio-economic determinants of the timing of first births by using the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). Data is compiled specifically to reduce endogeneity and to eliminate structure effects. We find that the probability of becoming a mother is higher for those women who postpone first childbirth due to education and career investment in comparison to those who postpone due to unrealized labour market integration. Educated and economically active women certainly postpone first childbirth in comparison to women who are less educated and who are not working, but they end up with a higher probability of starting a family in comparison to women who are less educated and not working. The article contributes to the academic discussion of the circumstances that may lead birth postponement to result in higher fertility for younger cohorts in European countries.

Keywords: female employment; family policies; fertility; birth postponement; female education; Europe (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-eur
Date: 2017-02
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01452823
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Journal Article: Education, labour, and the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Education, labour, and the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Education, labour, and the demographic consequences of birth postponement in Europe (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Education, Labor, and the Demographic Consequences of Births Postponement in Europe (2017)
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