Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Jürges, Hendrik

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Ludwig, Sandra / Schmitz, Hendrik

Ed. by Barigozzi, Francesca / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mastrobuoni, Giovanni / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / de Vries, Frans / Wenzel, Tobias

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.520
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.556

CiteScore 2018: 0.54

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.356
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.394

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 16, Issue 2


Volume 6 (2006)

Volume 4 (2004)

Volume 2 (2002)

Volume 1 (2001)

The Effects of Unemployment on Fertility: Evidence from England

Cevat Giray Aksoy
Published Online: 2016-02-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2014-0127


This paper reinvestigates the causal effects of local unemployment on fertility. It argues that contradicting results in the existing empirical research may have arisen due to a neglect of sub-demographic differences and failure to recognize endogeneity. It hypothesizes that male and female unemployment will have different impacts on fertility across subgroups of the population. Drawing on the UK Labor Force Survey and the Birth Statistics data from the Office for National Statistics, the results of this study suggest that female unemployment tends to increase births, whereas male unemployment has the opposite effect. More importantly, the reported results indicate the unemployment and fertility relation exhibits strong variation across demographic subgroups. Lastly, a persistent countercyclical fertility pattern is also documented at the county level.

Keywords: unemployment; fertility

JEL: J13; J19


  • Adsera, A. 2005. “Vanishing Children: From High Unemployment to Low Fertility in Developed Countries.” American Economic Review 95 (2): 189–93.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Ahn, N., and P. Mira. 2002. “A Note on the Changing Relationship between Fertility and Female Employment Rates in Developed Countries.” Journal of Population Economics 15 (4):667–82.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Aizer, A. 2010. “The Gender Wage Gap and Domestic Violence.” The American Economic Review 100 (4):1847.Web of ScienceCrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Anderberg, D., H. Rainer, J. Wadsworth, and T. Wilson. 2015. “Unemployment and Domestic Violence: Theory and Evidence.” The Economic Journal. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecoj.12246/abstract.Crossref

  • Bartik, T. J. 1991. Who Benefits from State and Local Economic Development Policies? Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.Google Scholar

  • Becker, G. S. 1960. “An Economic Analysis of Fertility.” In Demographic and Economic Change in Developed Countries, National Bureau of Economic Research (ed.) 209–31 (NBER Conference Series vol 11). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar

  • Becker, G. S., and H. Gregg Lewis. 1973. “On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children.” Journal of Political Economy 81 (2): S279–88.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Black, D. A., N. Kolesnikova, S. G. Sanders, and L. J. Taylor. 2013. “Are Children “Normal”?” The Review of Economics and Statistics 95 (1):21–33.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Blanchard, O. J., and L. F. Katz. 1992. “Regional Evolutions.” Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 23:1–75.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Brewster, K. L., and R. R. Rindfuss. 2000. “Fertility and Women’s Employment in Industrialized Nations.” Annual Review of Sociology 26:271–96.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Butz, W. P., and M. P. Ward. 1979. “The Emergence of Countercyclical US Fertility.” The American Economic Review 69 (3): 318–28.Google Scholar

  • Dettling, L. J., and M. S. Kearney. 2014. “House Prices and Birth Rates: The Impact of the Real Estate Market on the Decision to Have a Baby.” Journal of Public Economics 110:82–100.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Easterlin, R. A. 1973. “Relative Economic Status and the American Fertility Swing.”.

  • Engelhardt, H., and A. Prskawetz. 2004. “On the Changing Correlation between Fertility and Female Employment Over Space and Time.” European Journal of Population/Revue Européenne De Démographie 20 (1):35–62.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Esping-Andersen, G. 2009. Incomplete Revolution: Adapting Welfare States to Women’s New Roles. Polity.

  • Happel, S. K., J. K. Hill, and S. A. Low. 1984. “An Economic Analysis of the Timing of Childbirth.” Population Studies 38 (2):299–311.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Heckman, J. J., and J. R. Walker. 1990. “The Relationship Between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data.” Econometrica: Journal of the Econometric Society 58 (6): 1411–41.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Jones, L. E., A. Schoonbroodt, and M. Tertilt. 2008. “Fertility Theories: Can They Explain the Negative Fertility-Income Relationship?. No. W14266.” National Bureau of Economic Research.

  • Örsal, K., D. Dilan, and J. R. Goldstein. 2010. The increasing importance of economic conditions on fertility. No. WP-2010-014. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

  • Kravdal, Ø. 2002. “The Impact of Individual and Aggregate Unemployment on Fertility in Norway.” Demographic Research 6 (10):263–94.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Lindo, J. M. 2010. “Are Children Really Inferior Goods? Evidence from Displacement-Driven Income Shocks.” Journal of Human Resources 45 (2):301–27.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Mincer, J. 1963. “Market Prices, Opportunity Costs, and Income Effects.” In Measurement in Economics, edited by C. Christ et al., 67–82. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar

  • Ozcan, B., K. U. Mayer, and J. Luedicke. 2010. “The Impact of Unemployment on the Transition to Parenthood.” Demographic Research 23 (29):807–46.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Polachek, S. W., and J. Xiang. 2014. “The Gender Pay Gap across Countries: A Human Capital Approach.” IZA Discussion Paper, no. 8603.

  • Schaller, J. 2015. “Boom, Busts, and Fertility: Testing the Becker Model Using Gender-Specific Labor Demand.” Davis: University of California–Davis.

  • Sobotka, T., V. Skirbekk, and D. Philipov. 2011. “Economic Recession and Fertility in the Developed World.” Population and Development Review 37 (2):267–306.CrossrefWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Willis, R. J. 1973. “A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior.” The Journal of Political Economy 81 (2): 14–64.CrossrefGoogle Scholar

About the article

Revised: 2014-09-21

Published Online: 2016-02-09

Published in Print: 2016-04-01

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, Volume 16, Issue 2, Pages 1123–1146, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, ISSN (Print) 2194-6108, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/bejeap-2014-0127.

Export Citation

©2016 by De Gruyter.Get Permission

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in