The relationship between instability of employment careers and fertility is a major topic in demographic research. Since, particularly, the Great Recession, increasing numbers of papers on this matter have been published. Employment instability, which most often manifests in an experience of unemployment or time-limited employment, is usually deemed to have a negative effect on fertility, but different fertility reactions are hypothesized by sociological theories, and micro-level evidence is fragmented and contradictory. In this article, we use meta-analytic techniques to synthesize European research findings and to offer general conclusions about the effects of employment instability on fertility (in terms of direction and size) and to rank different sources of career instability. Our results suggest that instability of employment careers has a non-negligible negative effect on fertility. Men’s unemployment is more detrimental for fertility than men’s time-limited employment; conversely, a woman having a fixed-term contract is least likely to have a child. Next, the negative effect of time-limited employment on fertility is more severe in Southern European countries, where social protection for families and the unemployed is least generous. Finally, meta-regression estimates demonstrate that failing to account for income and partner’s characteristics leads to an overestimation of the negative effect of employment instability on fertility. We advance the role of these two factors as potential mechanisms by which employment instability affects fertility.

Instability of Employment Careers and Fertility in Europe: A Meta-Analysis / Alderotti, Giammarco; Vignoli, Daniele; Baccini, Michela; Matysiak, Anna. - In: DEMOGRAPHY. - ISSN 1533-7790. - STAMPA. - 58:(2021), pp. 871-900. [10.1215/00703370-9164737]

Instability of Employment Careers and Fertility in Europe: A Meta-Analysis

Alderotti, Giammarco;Vignoli, Daniele;Baccini, Michela;
2021

Abstract

The relationship between instability of employment careers and fertility is a major topic in demographic research. Since, particularly, the Great Recession, increasing numbers of papers on this matter have been published. Employment instability, which most often manifests in an experience of unemployment or time-limited employment, is usually deemed to have a negative effect on fertility, but different fertility reactions are hypothesized by sociological theories, and micro-level evidence is fragmented and contradictory. In this article, we use meta-analytic techniques to synthesize European research findings and to offer general conclusions about the effects of employment instability on fertility (in terms of direction and size) and to rank different sources of career instability. Our results suggest that instability of employment careers has a non-negligible negative effect on fertility. Men’s unemployment is more detrimental for fertility than men’s time-limited employment; conversely, a woman having a fixed-term contract is least likely to have a child. Next, the negative effect of time-limited employment on fertility is more severe in Southern European countries, where social protection for families and the unemployed is least generous. Finally, meta-regression estimates demonstrate that failing to account for income and partner’s characteristics leads to an overestimation of the negative effect of employment instability on fertility. We advance the role of these two factors as potential mechanisms by which employment instability affects fertility.
2021
58
871
900
Goal 5: Gender equality
Alderotti, Giammarco; Vignoli, Daniele; Baccini, Michela; Matysiak, Anna
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Utilizza questo identificatore per citare o creare un link a questa risorsa: https://hdl.handle.net/2158/1215460
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