Unemployment Leads Women to Postpone the Birth of Their First Child
Economic fluctuations have an especially important impact on the early working life of the young, at the very time when they may be starting a family. The usual statistical analyses do not make it possible to demonstrate a clear link between the growth of unemployment and the increase in the age at first birth. Biographical analysis sheds light on the impact of female unemployment on childbearing plans, by including the timing of life history events of individuals among the variables that explain behaviour.
In a society where contraception makes it possible for women to master the timing of their fertility and where female labour force participation has become the norm, these findings show that the family building process and the couples’ decisions are now factoring in the work experience and the career goals of both partners.