Employment Status Duration and First Birth in Great Britain
Cordula D. Zabel, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
The effect of employment status duration on the transition to first birth is estimated using data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). It is found that full-time employment duration is more important for younger cohorts, and also has a stronger effect for women with higher than for those with lower levels of education. For women with low levels of education and those born before 1940, the change in first birth rates with full-time employment duration is very small and non-significant. Full-time employment duration effects are largest and positive for women born after 1960 and those with the highest levels of education. This may have to do with long-term career planning, leading women to postpone childbearing if early human capital building is important for their careers. By contrast, no effect of duration in part-time employment on first birth rates is found. Non-employment duration has a negative effect.