Living and breeding in sin in Europe

The European Union just released 2004 data on ferility rates for the EU 25 countries. Here’s the interesting chart: eurobirths.gif As you can see, there appears to be a positive correlation between higher birth rates and the percentage of births outside of wedlock. Is this driving the results? Not necessarily. In a 2004 Journal of ...

By , a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
590138_431133202_eurobirths2.gif
590138_431133202_eurobirths2.gif

The European Union just released 2004 data on ferility rates for the EU 25 countries. Here's the interesting chart:

As you can see, there appears to be a positive correlation between higher birth rates and the percentage of births outside of wedlock. Is this driving the results? Not necessarily. In a 2004 Journal of Population Economics paper, Alicia Adsera provided another explanation for the variation in birth rates: the structure of labor markets: During the last two decades fertility rates have decreased and have become positively correlated with female participation rates across OECD countries. I use a panel of 23 OECD nations to study how different labor market arrangements shaped these trends. High unemployment and unstable contracts, common in Southern Europe, depress fertility, particularly of younger women. To increase lifetime income though early skill-acquisition and minimize unemployment risk, young women postpone (or abandon) childbearing. Further, both a large share of public employment, by providing employment stability, and generous maternity benefits linked to previous employment, such as those in Scandinavia, boost fertility of the 25?29 and 30?34 year old women.To read a draft of the whole thing, click here.

The European Union just released 2004 data on ferility rates for the EU 25 countries. Here’s the interesting chart:

eurobirths.gif

eurobirths.gif

As you can see, there appears to be a positive correlation between higher birth rates and the percentage of births outside of wedlock. Is this driving the results? Not necessarily. In a 2004 Journal of Population Economics paper, Alicia Adsera provided another explanation for the variation in birth rates: the structure of labor markets:

During the last two decades fertility rates have decreased and have become positively correlated with female participation rates across OECD countries. I use a panel of 23 OECD nations to study how different labor market arrangements shaped these trends. High unemployment and unstable contracts, common in Southern Europe, depress fertility, particularly of younger women. To increase lifetime income though early skill-acquisition and minimize unemployment risk, young women postpone (or abandon) childbearing. Further, both a large share of public employment, by providing employment stability, and generous maternity benefits linked to previous employment, such as those in Scandinavia, boost fertility of the 25?29 and 30?34 year old women.

To read a draft of the whole thing, click here.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, where he is the co-director of the Russia and Eurasia Program. Twitter: @dandrezner

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