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The unemployment delays the arrival of the first child in France

Population and Societies

528, December 2015

n° ISSN 0184 77 83

Fertility seems to be less affected by the economic crisis in France than in most other developed countries. Is French fertility behaviour immune to the effects of unemployment? Analysing data from the ERFI survey (the French variant of the Generations and Gender Survey), which interviewed respondents three times between 2005 and 2011, Ariane Pailhé and Arnaud Loilier, show that unemployment does in fact influence fertility intentions and their realization.

Population and Societies honors Valeria Solesin - INED PhD student victim of the attacks of 13 November 2015 in Paris - by republishing his first article published in 2013 in Neodemos.

  • Men and women less frequently report wanting a first child in the near future if they are unemployed. Moreover, for those who do want to become parents, experience of unemployment delays the first birth. This postponement can be explained by delayed union formation for men, and by the desire to find a stable job for women. By contrast, unemployment does not affect the childbearing plans of persons who are already parents.
  • A majority of Italians do not approve of mothers working, which explains why women there have lower employment rates and fewer children than women in France

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