Welfare State Context, Female Earnings and Childbearing

Michaela Kreyenfeld, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Gunnar Andersson, Stockholm University
Tajana Mika, German Federal Pension Insurance

This paper investigates the role of female earnings in childbearing decisions in two very different European contexts. By applying event history techniques to German and Danish register data during 1981-2001, we demonstrate how female earnings relate to first, second and third birth rates. Our study shows that female income is rather positively associated with fertility in Denmark, while the relationship is the opposite in West Germany. We interpret our finding against the background of social policies that encourage Danish women to get established in the labor market before having children, while German policies during the 1980s and 1990s rather discouraged maternal employment.

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Presented in Session 178: New Perspectives on Low Fertility and Policy