When Paid Work Matters for Fertility Intentions and Subsequent Behavior: Evidence from Two Waves of the Austrian Gender and Generation Survey
AbstractThe anticipated risk of job loss and material insecurity are related to fertility postponement in the same way as unemployment is. Given the sequential nature of fertility and occupational decisions, unfavorable working conditions should be resolved before having children, and result in an increase in people’s assignment of importance to paid work when developing their childbearing plans. We aim to demonstrate this link, focusing on perceived employment and material insecurity, the importance assigned to paid work in forming fertility intentions, the construction of fertility intentions, and their realization. Using two waves of the Austrian Generations and Gender Survey, we apply probit regressions to analyze gender variations in the associations between uncertainty conditions, the importance of paid work, fertility intentions and behavior. Results reveal that work and related benefits become salient when they are insecure, and that material insecurity among men discourages childbearing. For women, we find support for the hypothesis that the anticipated risk of job loss inhibits the realization of fertility intentions – intentions which are less likely to be constructed under such conditions from the onset of family planning processes.
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