After the First Child: Job Stability and Having Another Child

Sunnee Billingsley, Stockholm University
Oxana Sinyavskaya, Russia and Maastricht Graduate School of Governance

This study investigates the childbearing behavior of women during turbulent economic times. Using hazard models of Russian GGS data, as well as retrospective histories from the Employment and Education Survey, we find that women who experienced unemployment after having their first child were at a lower risk of having a second child from 1991-2004. We consider the following explanations for this relationship: 1) The cost of childbearing may be perceived as too high when women have not been contributing to household income; 2) negative labor market experiences may appear related to having become a mother, which may dampen desire for another child; 3) uncertainty may be high due to recent unemployment experiences; 4) these women may be a select group that are particularly career-oriented, or; 5) the length of leave taken may have depreciated human capital, increasing the significance of an unemployment spell after a first child has been born.

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Presented in Session 18: Demographic Consequences of Economic Downturns