Employment uncertainty, fertility intentions and transition to parenthood

Doris Hanappi (NCCR LIVES, research associate LINES)
Valérie-Anne Ryser (FORS, University Lausanne)
Laura Bernardi (deputy director of the NCCR LIVES, Director of LINES)
Jean-Marie LeGoff (LINES, University of Lausanne)

Employment and fertility intentions are fundamental mechanisms in the social fabric, and the relationship between them can have profound, long-term effects on a variety of institutions, including the education system, the family (childrearing, care for the elderly), and the labor market itself. In postindustrial societies, empirical evidence shows that there is a strong association between employment uncertainty and the formation and realization of fertility intentions, but this has not yet been systematically examined in the Swiss context. In this project, we examine the impact of precariousness as manifestation of such uncertainty on fertility intentions, drawing on panel data (e.g. Swiss Household Panel data). We are especially interested in the age and gender-specific effects of multiple, combined indicators of precariousness on stability or change of intentions. Our research links the study of fertility intentions and their realization to the precariousness debate paralleling recent labor market reforms, and thereby advances knowledge about the demographic response to market flexibilization and economic turbulence. Methodologically, it advances the modeling of employment uncertainty to gain a more differentiated understanding of its effects on reproductive decision-making.