The incompatibility between labour force participation and fertility for women in Spain

Pau Miret-Gamundi, Centre d’Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Elena Vidal-Coso, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

There is a broadly literature on the increase in female labour market participation and its link with fertility decline. But usually labour activity is not analysed by age: it always appeared than once you are in the labour market, you are not going to leave it until you retire. Although this pattern uses to be certain for males, it is not at all the pattern followed by females, as an important proportion of women leave the labour market in order to have children. This paper describes this scenario for the Spanish 1960-70 birth cohorts, trough contrasting fertility by parity with activity rates from 15 to 50 years. On one hand, register data allows to reconstruct the completed fertility pattern by parity from the 1960 birth cohort up to the 1966 birth cohort (from this generation onwards fertility pattern can not be considered completed). On the other hand, data from the Labour Force Survey allows to rebuilt the activity patterns by birth cohort from the age cohorts had in 1987 until their anniversary in 2011. For instance, for those women born in 1960 we elaborate the proportions in the labour marked from 26 to 50 years. Comparing fertility patterns by parity with female labour force participation leads to the conclusion than in Spain being in the labour marked is quite incompatible with fertility: as we show in the paper, activity rates for women decrease substantially with age during more fertile age range and increase quickly by the age than fertility can be considered completed. We are working in combining work and fertility patterns in the same dataset; taking advantage than from 1999 the Spanish Labour Force links children with their parents within a household. Moreover, it allows to add other variables: the economic context, regional differences o the influence of migration.

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Presented in Poster Session 2

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