MPIDR Working Paper

Welfare state context, female earnings and childbearing

Andersson, G., Kreyenfeld, M. R., Mika, T.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2009-026, 34 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (October 2009)
Open Access


This paper investigates the role of female earnings in childbearing decisions in two very different European contexts. By applying event history techniques to German and Danish register data during 1981-2001, we demonstrate how female earnings relate to first, second and third birth rates. Our study shows that female earnings are rather positively associated with fertility in Denmark, while the relationship is the opposite in West Germany. We interpret our findings based on our observation that Danish social policies tend to encourage Danish women to become established in the labor market before having children, while German policies during the 1980s and 1990s were not designed to encourage maternal employment.
Keywords: Denmark, fertility
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.