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Fertility reactions to the "Great Recession" in Europe: recent evidence from order-specific data

Goldstein, J. R., Kreyenfeld, M. R., Jasilioniene, A., Karaman Örsal, D. D.

Demographic Research, 29:4, 85-104 (2013)

DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2013.29.4

Abstract

This paper provides recent cross-national evidence of the impact of the great recession on fertility in Europe in the context of the recent decade. Using data from the Human Fertility Database (HFD), from Eurostat, and from the OECD database, we employ fixed-effects modeling to study how changes in unemployment rates have affected birth rates across Europe. We find that countries that were hit hard by the recession show reduced fertility when compared with a continuation of recent trends, especially at younger ages. Our results indicate a strong relationship between economic conditions and fertility. However, there is variation by region, age, and parity suggesting the importance of life course and institutional factors.

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