Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 33–50 | Cite as

Fertility Determinants and Economic Uncertainty: An Assessment Using European Panel Data

  • George Hondroyiannis
Original Paper


This study examined the determinants of fertility, using panel data for 27 European countries. We employed panel co-integration to estimate fertility as function of demographic and economic variables. We showed that low fertility in most industrialized countries in Europe is due to low infant mortality rates, high female employment, low nuptiality rate, and high opportunity cost of having children. Using two measures of economic uncertainty, which are associated with labor market decisions—a production (an output) volatility measure and the unemployment rate—we examined to what extent economic insecurities affect fertility decisions. The empirical results showed that both measures of economic uncertainty have a significant negative impact on fertility implying that labor market insecurities might be a significant factor affecting fertility decisions.


Fertility choice Panel estimation 



I wish to acknowledge useful discussions and suggestions with Stephen Hall and helpful comments from three anonymous referees and the editor of the journal.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bank of Greece, Economic Research DepartmentHarokopio UniversityAthensGreece

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