Volume 32 - Article 23 | Pages 691-722 Author has provided data and code for replicating results Article has associated letter

On the age-specific correlation between fertility and female employment: Heterogeneity over space and time in OECD countries

By Uta Brehm, Henriette Engelhardt

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Date received:02 Dec 2013
Date published:06 Mar 2015
Word count:6230
Keywords:age-specific fertility, country heterogeneity, female labor force participation, OECD, random coefficient model, total fertility rate
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2015.32.23
Additional files:readme.32-23 (text file, 756 Byte)
 demographic-research.32-23 (zip file, 258 kB)
 

Abstract

Background: Though there has been profound research on the curious change in correlation between total fertility rate (TFR) and female labor force participation (FLP) in the mid-1980s, aspects of the compositional character of age-specific effects and the nature of countries’ heterogeneity have been neglected.

Objective: The present paper aims to contribute to filling this gap by analyzing annual total fertility rates and their equivalents for four age groups between 20 and 39 years as well as the respective lagged FLP from 17 OECD countries between 1985 and 2010.

Methods: Random Intercept and Random Coefficient Models are applied, allowing us to assess both effects and country heterogeneity in slopes and intercepts.

Results: The analyses reveal that the development of the correlation between FLP and TFR after 1985 is comprised of very different relations between age-specific fertility and labor participation. The youngest group’s situation is determined by a decrease in both fertility and FLP, while countries’ effects differ increasingly. The oldest women’s fertility decisions seem to be detached from labor market influences, though country variation is high. Women in their late 20s and early 30s, in contrast, appear to be most affected by the incompatibility of childbearing and gainful employment. Though these effects seem to have overcome their low points during the mid-1990s, only women in their early 30s show country-convergence.

Conclusions: The results highlight the fact that total and age-specific fertility behavior, FLP-effects and country variances are distinct concepts that add considerably to the broad understanding of the correlation between fertility and FLP.

Author's Affiliation

Uta Brehm - Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Germany [Email]
Henriette Engelhardt - Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Germany [Email]

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