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The effects of unemployment on fertility

Andersen, Signe Hald and Özcan, Berkay ORCID: 0000-0003-2255-9406 (2021) The effects of unemployment on fertility. Advances in Life Course Research, 49. p. 100401. ISSN 1040-2608

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.alcr.2020.100401


We analyse the effects of unemployment on the likelihood of having a first and second birth in Denmark. The existing studies on this topic have generated contradictory results, and have made a weak case for the exogeneity of unemployment to fertility. We suggest that firm closures constitute an exogenous source of unemployment, and adopt firm closures as an instrument for estimating individuals’ fertility responses. Using a life-course approach, we exploit unique administrative data from Denmark that include all Danish residents born in 1966 and followed between 1982 and 2006. The data contain monthly information about each individual’s employment status, type of employer, relationship status and partner’s characteristics; as well as very detailed fertility information, including on stillbirths and registered miscarriages. We find that unemployment has a positive effect on motherhood transitions and a negative effect on fatherhood transitions, although the latter is not robust to the inclusion of controls. We find no significant effect of unemployment on second births.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2021 11:09
Last Modified: 26 Nov 2021 00:08

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