Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #422

Sooner or Later – Economic Insecurity and the Timing of First Birth

by Michael Kind and Jan Kleibrink

RGS Econ, RUB, RWI, 07/2013, 23 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-478-5 DOI: 10.4419/86788478



Does economic insecurity delay fertility? Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 2001–2011, the impact of economic insecurity on the timing of first birth is examined. Focusing on the timing decision within a career context, different measures of insecurity are analyzed. These include subjective and objective influences on the individual and on more aggregate levels. Results show that men are unaffected by the evaluation of the economic situation on their individual level but they complement positive economic situations on the macro-level with fertility. On the contrary, women delay fertility in response to economic insecurity on the individual level but prepone fertility when observing insecurity on the macro-level.

JEL-Classification: j13

Keywords: Economic uncertainty; family formation; timing of birth; survival analysis