Fertility and Commuting: Evidence Based on First-Birth Rates of Young Working Women
The paper studies how commuting, as a demographic, social and economic process, is linked to fertility. It is hypothesised that daily mobility may have changed marriage and cohabitation propensities and, consequently, birth rates. Fertility is affected by cross-space income flows and by their impact on well-being at municipal level caused by commuting. The empirical evidence reveals common and distinct effects of commuting on fertility of those women who involved in daily mobility and not. Increase in the proportion of commuters is associated with a decrease in first-birth rates for both commuters and non-commuters, as they probably tend to stay childless while interacting with single co-workers, friends, and acquaintances. However, first-birth rates of commuting women increase with growth of individual earnings and the average levels of taxable earnings in places of residence. First-birth rates of non-commuting women increase with individual earnings, but drop with growth of average levels of taxable earnings in the place of residence.