Changes in Employment Uncertainty and the Fertility Intention-Realization Link: An Analysis Based on the Swiss Household Panel

Eur J Popul. 2017;33(3):381-407. doi: 10.1007/s10680-016-9408-y. Epub 2017 Feb 24.


How do changes in employment uncertainty matter for fertility? Empirical studies on the impact of employment uncertainty on reproductive decision-making offer a variety of conclusions, ranging from gender and socio-economic differences in the effect of employment uncertainty on fertility intentions and behaviour, to the effect of employment on changes in fertility intentions. This article analyses the association between a change in subjective employment uncertainty and fertility intentions and behaviour by distinguishing male and female partners' employment uncertainty, and examines the variation in these associations by education. Using a sample of men and women living in a couple from the Swiss Household Panel (SHP 2002-2011), we examine through multinomial analysis how changes in employment uncertainty and selected socio-demographic factors are related to individual childbearing decisions. Our results show strong gendered effects of changes in employment uncertainty on the revision of reproductive decisions among the highly educated population.

Keywords: Employment uncertainty; Fertility intentions; Gender; Life course; Panel data; Switzerland.