Authors: Krzysztof Karbownik and Michal Myck, CenEA.
Wide spread entry of women into the labor force has been one of the most pronounced socio-economic developments in the 20th century, and high levels of female employment are crucial from the point of view of continued economic growth and financial stability of many welfare systems (Galor and Weil, 1996). At the same time, demographic changes determined by the current and future fertility levels will play a vital role in shaping these developments and will affect the costs of social programs. Given the potentially strong link between female employment and family size, it seems that understanding the relationship between the two ought to be at the heart of policy discussions, especially in countries that are characterized by both low fertility and low female employment. In particular, in light of rising unemployment in low-fertility countries, which have been most severely affected by the economic crisis such as Greece, Spain and Latvia, our findings may serve as a guide with respect to the relationship between fertility and labor supply in an environment, which will be more common in Europe in the near future.