Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 463–478 | Cite as

Fertility and economic instability: the role of unemployment and job displacement

  • Emilia Del Bono
  • Andrea Weber
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
Original Paper


In this paper, we study the separate effects of unemployment and job displacement on fertility in a sample of white collar women in Austria. Using an instrumental variable approach, we show that unemployment incidence as such has no negative effect on fertility decisions, but the very fact of being displaced from a career-oriented job has. Fertility rates for women affected by a firm closure are significantly below those of a control group, even after 6 years, and this is so irrespective of the incidence or the duration of the associated unemployment spell.


Fertility Unemployment Firm closures Human capital 

JEL Classification

J13 J64 J65 J24 



We are grateful to workshop participants in Essen and Milano. This project received funding from the Austrian Science Fund (NRN Labor Economics and the Welfare State). Emilia Del Bono acknowledges the support provided by the ESRC Centre on Micro-Social Change at ISER (grant RES-518-28-001). All errors and opinions are the authors’ sole responsibility.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Emilia Del Bono
    • 1
  • Andrea Weber
    • 2
  • Rudolf Winter-Ebmer
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.ISERUniversity of EssexColchesterUK
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of MannheimMannheimGermany
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of LinzLinzAustria
  4. 4.Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS)ViennaAustria

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