Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2013:8: Businesses, Buddies, and Babies: Fertility and Social Interactions at Work

Magne K. Asphjell (), Lena Hensvik () and J. Peter Nilsson ()
Additional contact information
Magne K. Asphjell: NHH
Lena Hensvik: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
J. Peter Nilsson: Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: This paper examines how fertility decisions are transmitted within the workplace. Informed by a simple real options model of timing of investments under uncertainty, we show that recent births among co-workers affect women's subsequent childbearing using populationwide matched employer-employee panel data. We further documentthat the peer effect varies with the degree of similarity between coworkers, and that social infuences seems to be a more important mechanism behind the fertility peer effect than social learning in our context.

Keywords: Peer effects; social infuences; co-workers; real options

JEL-codes: J00; J13

55 pages, January 29, 2013

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