Occupational hazard? The relationship between working conditions and fertility

Katia Hildegard Begall

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The labor force participation of women both before and after having children is today not only normatively acceptable, but also increasingly an economic necessity. An extensive body of literature has examined which aspects hamper or facilitate work-family life compatibility with attention moving away from the examination of employment status to a focus on the importance of the type of job. Fertility research, however, has not paid the same attention to job characteristics and working conditions. The four studies presented in this book extend our knowledge about how education and employment influence fertility outcomes by examining a wide spectrum of educational and work characteristics that have not yet been linked to fertility outcomes. Information about the level of education attainment is combined with more nuanced information about the field of study. Diverse measures of work characteristics are studied, ranging from earning potential and recent career dynamics, non-standard work times and occupational sex segregation to perceived control about pace and organization of work. The research reported in this book demonstrates that the type of job a women works in has a major influence on the decision to have a first child. The influence of work characteristics on second and higher order births is less strong and when couples are examined, women’s work is more important in predicting a first birth than men's.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Mills, Melinda, Supervisor
  • Ganzeboom, H.B.G., Supervisor, External person
Award date7-Feb-2013
Place of Publication[S.l.]
Print ISBNs9789036759779
Electronic ISBNs9789036759861
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Proefschriften (vorm)
  • Scholing
  • Arbeidsomstandigheden
  • Gezinsplanning
  • familie en gezin (sociologie)
  • geboorte (demografie)


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