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Women's employment and first birth in Europe


The literature on fertility in high-income countries indicates that employment has a more negative, or less positive, effect for women than for men, and that a country’s egalitarian gender norms and family-friendly policies, and a woman’s own higher-educational attainment, reduce these gender differences. We re-evaluate these findings for couples’ first births in 24 countries in the 2004-2017 waves of the European Union’s Statistics of Income and Living Conditions panel survey, incorporating predictor variables for annual employed hours up to three years before the year of exposure to first birth. We find a strongly positive female full-time employment effect that is pervasive across education and country-region groups. We find positive full-time employment effects for both women and their male partners, such that first-birth probabilities are highest when both are full-time employed, but that the magnitude of the full-time employment effect is greater for the woman. We attribute the novelty of our findings to the more recent period that we analyze, to the large set of countries that we include in our analysis, and to our observing women’s employment lagged to at least one year before the year of exposure to conception and over either one or two full years’ duration.


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Dates and versions

hal-03970731 , version 1 (02-02-2023)




  • HAL Id : hal-03970731 , version 1


Angela Greulich, Michael S Rendall. Women's employment and first birth in Europe. 2021. ⟨hal-03970731⟩
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