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Sena COSKUN - University of Mannheim

Sena Coskun (University of Mannheim) will present "The Emergence of Procyclical Fertility : The Role of Gender Differences in Employment Risk"

Abstract :
Fertility in the US has exhibited a procyclical pattern since the 1970s. We argue that gender differences in employment risk leads to procyclical fertility : men tend to work in volatile and procyclical industries, while women are more likely to work in relatively stable and countercyclical industries. The relative gender employment gap is countercyclical as women become breadwinners in recessions, producing an insurance effect of female income. Our quantitative framework features a general equilibrium OLG model with endogenous fertility and human capital choice and shows that the current gender industry composition in the US data fully accounts for the procyclicality observed. We can also generate countercyclical fertility, as observed in the 1960s, either when the female income share is low or procyclical. Finally, we argue that the insurance effect of female income in bad times tilts the quality-quantity trade-off towards quality.