Volume 30 - Article 64 | Pages 1733-1768

Jobs, careers, and becoming a parent under state socialist and market conditions: Evidence from Estonia 1971-2006

By Sunnee Billingsley, Allan Puur, PhD, Luule Sakkeus, PhD

Print this page  Send this article to a friend  Twitter

 

 
Date received:22 May 2013
Date published:04 Jun 2014
Word count:8200
Keywords:Estonia, fertility, gender, labor force participation, postponement, post-socialist, Russia, work experience
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2014.30.64
 

Abstract

Background: Entering employment and achieving a stable position in the labour market are considered important preconditions for childbearing. Existing studies addressing the relationship between work experience and the timing of parenthood focus exclusively on Western Europe and North America. By adding an Eastern European context before and after societal transformation, this study contributes to a more comprehensive account of the role of work experience in first-birth timing in Europe.

Objective: We investigate how work experience and career development are related to the timing of parenthood in two diverse contexts in Estonia, state socialism and the market economy, and how it varies by gender and nativity.

Methods: The data used come from the Estonian Health Interview Survey 2006-2007. We estimate piecewise constant event history models to analyse the transition to first birth.

Results: Our results suggest that in the market economy work experience became more important in the decision to enter parenthood. In the market economy the importance of work experience to entering parenthood became more similar for women and men. Non-native-origin men and women’s timing of parenthood appears to have become detached from their career developments. The article discusses mechanisms that may underlie the observed patterns.

Conclusions: Our study shows how work experience gained importance as a precondition for parenthood in the transition to a market economy. This lends support to the view that the increasing importance of work experience is among plausible drivers of the postponement transition that extended to Eastern Europe in the 1990s.

Author's Affiliation

Sunnee Billingsley - Stockholm University, Sweden [Email]
Allan Puur, PhD - Tallinn University, Estonia [Email]
Luule Sakkeus, PhD - Tallinn University, Estonia [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Intergenerational family constellations in contemporary Europe: Evidence from the Generations and Gender Survey
Volume 25 - Article 4

» Economic crisis and recovery: Changes in second birth rates within occupational classes and educational groups
Volume 24 - Article 16

» Effects of education on second births before and after societal transition: Evidence from the Estonian GGS
Volume 22 - Article 28

» Reconciling studies of men’s gender attitudes and fertility: Response to Westoff and Higgins
Volume 22 - Article 8

» Men's childbearing desires and views of the male role in Europe at the dawn of the 21st century
Volume 19 - Article 56

» First union formation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania: patterns across countries and gender
Volume 17 - Article 10

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» Children are costly, but raising them may pay: The economic approach to fertility
Volume 30 - Article 8    | Keywords: fertility, labor force participation

» Domestic gender equality and childbearing in Sweden
Volume 29 - Article 40    | Keywords: fertility, gender

» Like daughter, like son? Fertility decline and the transformation of gender systems in the family
Volume 27 - Article 16    | Keywords: fertility, gender

» The Second Demographic Transition in Israel: One for All?
Volume 27 - Article 10    | Keywords: fertility, postponement

» The influence of employment uncertainty on childbearing in France: A tempo or quantum effect?
Volume 26 - Article 1    | Keywords: fertility, gender