Fertility and Employment-Current Research

Working on a paper for presentation at a conference this summer and chair work took much of this week away from my blogging. Oh and a revise and resubmit. That is not helping either. I keep getting excited by the paper though. It is a continuation of a master’s thesis I supervised and the former student, now co-author, really likes the topic too. We are looking at fertility and the impact of various employment classifications for women and their partners. We have around 2.2 million observations so if a variable is not significant we know it is NOT significant. 

The early results are curious in various ways although the first thing to highlight is that we get 78 baths per 1,000 women in childbearing ages, which is pretty consistent for this time frame. It seems that being born in the US is statistically significant, though very small in terms of fertility rate effects. Many of the countries of birth in the sample were not significant which led to the binary variable in this case. There are a host of other controls and covariates and the sheer size of the data set is making the computer cringe over various commands. 

Why I am excited is that the decline in birth rates has significant ramifications for a variety of economic policies, but clearly matters for labor markets and labor policy. This is rarely considered when we discuss these policies these days. It is also inadequately understood as it relates to retirement policies and plans but that is for another post on another day.

The potential for international comparisons is another big story that might come out of this research so I am very excited by that as well. 

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