Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #379

Job Security and Fertility: Evidence from German Reunification

by Marcus Klemm

RUB, RGS Econ, 10/2012, 37 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-434-1 DOI: 10.4419/86788434



This paper uses the special occupational status of German civil servants in combination with the unforeseen event of German reunification to study empirically the relationship between job security and fertility. The civil servant-status provides extreme job security as well as good possibilities to combine work and family lives. The fast introduction of the civil service system after reunification represents an exogenous (re-)assignment of individual employment risks in Eastern Germany, and thus allows one to control for occupational self-selection. While no strong evidence for a link between job security and fertility emerges for men, the paper demonstrates a clear link between labor market and demographic outcomes for women, especially in Western Germany and most pronounced for higher educated females between age 25 and 40. This strong relationship is the result of occupational self-selection coupled with a civil servantspecific birth timing pattern and a small causal impact of job security on fertility. It shows that female civil servants are not primarily a selected group of very family oriented individuals, but rather both family as well as career oriented.

JEL-Classification: D12, J13, J24

Keywords: Job security; fertility; occupational choice