Sebastian Pink, Thomas Leopold, Henriette Engelhardt
Fertility and Social Interaction at the Workplace: Does Childbearing Spread Among Colleagues?

Advances in Life Course Research, 2014: 21, S. 113–122
ISSN: 1040-2608

This research investigates whether colleagues’ fertility influences women's transitions to parenthood. We draw on Linked-Employer–Employee data (1993–2007) from the German Institute for Employment Research comprising 33,119 female co-workers in 6579 firms. Results from discrete-time hazard models reveal social interaction effects on fertility among women employed in the same firm. In the year after a colleague gave birth, transition rates to first pregnancy double. This effect declines over time and vanishes after two years. Further analyses suggest that the influence of colleagues’ fertility is mediated by social learning.