Job Stability and Fertility Intentions Across Europe: Does Labour Market Legislation Matter?

Saturday, 4 July 2015: 10:15 AM-11:45 AM
TW1.2.04 (Tower One)
Tatiana Karabchuk, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
Total birth rates in Europe went down dramatically in almost all countries during the last 40 years. The postponed marriages and childbirth delays resulted from the global value changes could only partially explain this decline. I claim that one of main reasons for it is the rise of job and income instability caused by labour market polarization. The growth of flexible market relations increased uncertainty and job insecurity in many European countries during the last decades. This paper aims to disclose and explain the impact of job instability on fertility intentions taking into account the employment legislation of the country. I use the developed theoretical approach of closed/open labour markets to work out the macro level hypotheses for countries’ differences and the theory of precarious work for micro level hypotheses. The empirical analysis is grounded on the European Social Survey, conducted in 2010 for 27 countries. The results from the multilevel modeling are the following: the polarized dual labour market resulted from rigid employment legislation decreases fertility intentions while liberal labour market with less inequalities between primary and secondary labour markets contributes to childbirth planning.