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Fertility decisions and the labour market

13rd National Competition for Economic Research Grants

Labour economics

Senior Researcher : Virginia Sánchez Marcos

Research Centre or Institution : Universidad de Cantabria. Santander.


The aim of this study is to shed light on the factors which determine the low fertility rate in Spain compared to other comparable countries. In particular, we want to explore the importance of some institutional aspects such as the preponderance of temporary contracts or the lack of flexibility in the organisation of the working day in order to understand that low fertility rate.

First of all, we will conduct an empirical analysis of the relation between the type of employment contract and fertility decisions using the Continuous Sample of Working Lives. This sample provides very detailed information about the employment history of individuals and about some characteristics of the type of labour relations they have had. The empirical evidence will serve as the basis for more specific subsequent analysis, and it will also provide the information necessary for the calibration of the quantitative model which will be used for that analysis.

Secondly, we will develop a dynamic quantitative model of fertility decisions and the availability of employment for women, as well as companies' hiring and promotion decisions. The aim is to incorporate into the model some specificities of the Spanish economy which are potential causes of the country's low fertility rate.

Finally, we will evaluate the impact of policies aimed at promoting fertility, as well as the impact of changes in the labour market institutions on fertility, the female employment rate and the salary differential between men and women. From the analysis carried out in this final phase of the project, we hope to be able to obtain policy recommendations.

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