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Are Fertility Responses to Local Unemployment Shocks Homogenous Across Social Strata? Evidence from England, 1994 to 2010

Aksoy, Cevat Giray (2014): Are Fertility Responses to Local Unemployment Shocks Homogenous Across Social Strata? Evidence from England, 1994 to 2010.

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Abstract

Are fertility responses to local unemployment homogenous across sub-demographic groups? This paper investigates how changes in local unemployment rates affect household fertility decisions in England while taking sub-demographic differences into account. Recognizing that labor market status is a major determinant of child rearing decision, and assuming that children are normal goods, this paper hypothesizes that an increase in male and female unemployment will have different effects on the current period fertility. Using the Labor Force Survey and Birth Statistics data from the Office for National Statistics, this study shows that female unemployment tends to increase births whereas male unemployment has the opposite effect. More importantly, reported results indicate that unemployment and fertility relation exhibits strong age group and educational attainment gradients. In addition, a persistent counter-cyclical fertility pattern has also been documented at the ceremonial county level.

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