Having jobs or babies? A comparative analysis of recent trends in female employment and fertility in France and Germany

Anne Salles, Université de Paris IV, Sorbonne
Olivier Thevenon, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

This paper investigates the hypothesis that the fertility-work nexus is more “polarized” in Germany than in France, this polarization being one reason of low fertility in Germany. Trends over the last decade are also scrutinized, to assess whether differences in fertility behavior were or not increased by the reforms made in employment and family policies. Data from EU-Labour Force Surveys and going from 2002 to 2011 are used to make this comparison. The evidence shows that differences in employment situation according to household composition have increased in Germany while it decreased in France. Then, logistic regression childbirth shows that being employed lowers the chances to experience childbirth in the two countries in comparison to inactive women. However, being on a full-time or log part-time job seems to affect fertility to a lesser extent in France compared to Germany, as expected.

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Presented in Session 52: Employment and fertility