Having a second child and access to childcare: evidence from European countries

Angela Greulich, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Hippolyte D'Albis, Paris School of Economics
Paula Gobbi, Université Catholique de Louvain

This paper shows that differences in fertility across European countries mainly emerge due to fewer women having two children in low fertility countries. It further suggests that childcare services are an important determinant for the transition to a second child to occur. The theoretical framework we propose suggests that: (i) in countries where childcare coverage is low, there is a U-shaped relationship between a couple's probability to have a second child and female's wage, while ((ii)) in countries with easy access to childcare, this probability is positively related with the woman's potential wage. Data from the European Survey of Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) confirm these implications when estimating a woman's probability of having a second child as a function of education. This implies that middle income women are the most affected ones by the lack of childcare coverage in low fertility countries.

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Presented in Session 52: Life course and female employment