The Great Recession, Job Loss, and Fertility: Evidence from North Carolina
Elizabeth O. Ananat, Duke University
Christina M. Gibson-Davis, Duke University
Anna Gassman-Pines, Duke University
This study investigated effects of community-wide job losses on birth rates, during and prior to the Great Recession. Using administrative data on all live births and all job losses in North Carolina from 1990-2009, results suggest that effects of the Great Recession and community-wide job loss varied by marital status and educational attainment. Unmarried women with a high school diploma or less increased their fertility in response to job losses in their communities 1-3 months prior to conception, but their fertility was not affected by the Great Recession. Married women with a high school diploma or less, and unmarried women with some college, decreased their fertility in response to community-wide job losses occurring 0-4 months after conception, but only during the Great Recession. Finally, married women with at least some college decreased their fertility during the Great Recession, but did not change their fertility in response to community-wide job losses.