Document Type


Publication Date



International Studies



Publication Title

Southern Economic Journal


We examine the impact of job losses during the Great Recession on fertility in the United States. We find that for married/cohabiting couples, job losses of males during the recession decreased the likelihood of birth. In contrast, job losses of married/cohabiting females had no impact, on average, on fertility because of opposing age‐specific effects. Although younger women were reducing fertility after job losses to cope with the loss of income, older women, aged 40 and above, were more likely to have a child following their job loss. Moreover, we find that job losses of single/noncohabiting females decreased the likelihood of birth, particularly for women below the age of 25. This negative effect on fertility persisted in the medium‐term, up to three years following the job losses. Overall, these results suggest that job losses during the recession may be partly responsible for the recent decline in the U.S. birth rates.


Published as:
Alam, Shamma Adeeb, and Bijetri Bose. "Did the Great Recession Affect Fertility? Examining the Impact of Job Displacements on the Timing of Births in the United States." Southern Economic Journal 86, no. 3 (2020): 873-909.

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