The interplay between employment, economic instability and fertility quantum: Portugal in a comparative European perspective

Lídia P. Tomé, Universidade de Évora
Maria Mendes, Universidade de Évora

In many European countries, mainly at the southern ones, the recent economic crisis had immediate negative impact on the family formation decisions and fertility quantum retracts. Spain and Portugal are identified in the literature as countries with strong traditional families, and with high levels of income inequality, poverty and class inequality, but low levels of generational inequality. Portugal is not however a conventional familiastic model country. The country traditional low employment rates aren’t typical in the Portuguese context were no negative relationship between motherhood and women’s high employment rates was found. Still, as well as Spain, Portugal dramatically experienced the 2008 economical crisis shock and could change the dynamic between the female labour market and the fertility decisions. This study examines, since 1960, and with special interest in the years after the recent economic crises (2008 onwards), the relationship between the economical crises, the female labour force, unemployment and fertility tempo and quantum, in Portugal as main case of interest in a comparative analysis with five selected European countries (Austria, Hungary, France, Spain and Sweden). We evaluate the arguments on the relationship between labour market participation, un/employment and fertility postponement, and give a comprehensive overview of the expected main driving factors behind specific fertility trends and the current situation in the labour market participation. Considering the Portuguese case of study, exist a positive relationship between age, education and employment, with an increasing on the fertility quantum when labour market participation stabilizes at older ages. Such positive effect increases the probabilities of a more educated woman recuperate the postponed childbearing earlier in their cohort.

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Presented in Poster Session 3