Employment Instability and Childbearing Plans in a Child-Oriented Country: Evidence from France

  • Ariane Pailhé
  • Anne Solaz
Part of the Work and Welfare in Europe book series (RECOWE)


The link between female employment and childbearing has attracted much research attention over the past decades, as fertility rates in Europe and elsewhere in the industrialised world have declined and remained below the level necessary for population replacement. Studies addressing the relationship have typically focused on the impact of female employment on fertility. Despite much research on this issue, causality remains unclear (Mira and Ahn, 2002; Engelhardt and Prskawetz, 2004; Kögel, 2004). Lately, the focus of the debate has moved from the effect of women’s employment on fertility to the effect of job insecurity on fertility for several reasons. First, the spread of dual-earner couples in high-income countries has made women’s employment less of an option but rather a fact. It is no longer female employment that has to adapt to fertility but the reverse, and fertility is guided by the possibility of mothers of being able to work and the conditions of work-family balance (Brewster and Rindfuss, 2000). Second, women’s employment is often an economic necessity for the family. Since the 1980s, the growing insecurity on the labour market with the high frequency of short-term jobs and high rates of unemployment has changed the context of childbearing decisions. Thus, the issue is no longer participating in the labour market so much as getting and keeping a job, for both men and women.


Parental Leave Labour Force Survey Fertility Intention Unemployed People Economic Uncertainty 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Ariane Pailhé and Anne Solaz 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ariane Pailhé
  • Anne Solaz

There are no affiliations available

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