Dual parental employment favors family enlargment in Europe

In an article recently published in Population, Angela Greulich, Mathilde Guergoat-Larivière and Olivier Thévenon study the effects of women’s  and men’s employment on second births in contemporary Europe. By mobilizing longitudinal data from the European Union’s Statistics of Income and Living conditions (EU-SILC) and aggregated
data from the OECD Family Database, they find evidence that female employment significantly increases the couple’s probability of  having a second child. The magnitude of the effect differs, however, among individuals, households and countries. The positive impact is stronger for highly educated women and for women with partners who are themselves in employment. Dual employment thus favours family enlargement from one to two children more strongly than other employment configurations within the couple. Multilevel models reveal that the positive effect of parental dual employment on the transition to second childbirth is reinforced in countries with high childcare coverage.
The development of childcare at the country level – the most effective family policy to secure women’s employment– increases the probability of having a second child, whereas other types of institutional support such as certain leave schemes (especially those which provide long but weakly remunerated leave) or lump-sum cash transfers do not have such a positive effect.

Further reading:

  1. A. Greulich, M. Guergoat-Larivière,  O. Thévenon (2017): “Employment and second childbirths in Europe.” Population 2017-4 (Version anglaise)
  2. A. Greulich, M. Guergoat-Larivière,  O. Thévenon (2017): “Emploi et deuxième naissance en Europe.” Population 2017-4 (Version française)
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