Economic Activity and Reproductive Behaviours in Poland

Marta Szklarska


Poland is a country with one of the lowest fertility rates in Europe. Many researchers have attempted to explain the reasons for this state of affairs. In the literature, the situation on the labour market is considered to be one of the determinants of low fertility – difficulty in finding work, job insecurity, and the high expectations of employers vis-a-vis employees. Young people often postpone their decision to become parents in order to receive a better education, find a job, and establish their position on the labour market. Studies on the impact of economic activity on reproductive behaviours have produced ambiguous results, depending on the country. Differentiation is related to the situation on the labour market (employment, wages), institutional support, and the division of roles within the family. In countries with high wages (e.g. Denmark), the unemployment of one parent does not have to limit fertility. In countries with relatively low-wages, the effects of unemployment may contribute to the postponement of parenthood (e.g. Spain). The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of the economic activity of both partners on the chance of having a first child in Poland. The analysis covers the socio-economic characteristics of both partners, such as place of residence, type of relationship, type of household, woman’s age, partner’s education level, and religiosity. The following hypotheses are tested: (1) the employment of both partners increases the chance of having a first child; and (2) the unemployment of one of the partners decreases the chance of having a first child. To verify these hypotheses, the random effect logit model was used. The data originate from the Social Diagnosis 2003–2013.


fertility, reproductive behaviours, economic activity, panel data models, randoml effect logit models


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