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Do Women Working in the Public Sector Have it Easier to Become Mothers in Spain?

From: Population Review
Volume 52, Number 1, 2013



Previous studies claim that there are differences in fertility rates among working women that probably indicate varying career-arrangements due to differences in women's opportunity costs of a career break at childbirth by employment sector. Drawing on the Spanish Survey on Fertility and Values (2006), this study analyzes whether and to what extent public employment affects women's reproductive behavior (transition to first birth) in the Spanish context. Findings show that employed women experience higher opportunity costs of entering into motherhood but working women in environments which offer more long-term stability and favor the combination of work and family responsibilities, like public sector jobs, become mothers earlier than self-employed and private sector employees.