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Job bust, baby bust?: Evidence from Spain

Abstract.

The unemployment rate in Spain has been exceptionally high for more than two decades by now. During the same period the fertility rate dropped dramatically reaching the lowest level in the world. In this study we look for evidence of a link between the `unemployment crisis' and the `fertility crisis' in Spain. We examine the factors that affect individuals' ages at marriage and childbirth, focusing on the effects of male employment status. Our results show that spells of non-employment have a strong negative effect on the hazard of marriage. We also find negative (but smaller) effects of part-time or temporal employment on the hazard of marriage. The estimated direct effects of joblessness and part-time work on birth hazards conditional on marriage are smaller and/or not significant for most birth intervals and sample groups. Simulations based on the estimated models confirm the potential for large `delaying' effects of joblessness on marriage. However, the delaying effect is not so large in simulations which control for the actual incidence of non-employment in the sample.

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Received: 7 January 1999/Accepted: 7 March 2000

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Ahn, N., Mira, P. Job bust, baby bust?: Evidence from Spain. J Popul Econ 14, 505–521 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001480100093

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s001480100093

  • JEL classification: 13
  • Key words: Unemployment
  • age at marriage
  • birth intervals