Publication


Zuzanna Brzozowska, Isabella Buber-Ennser, Bernhard Riederer
Didn’t plan one but got one: Unintended and sooner-than-intended parents in the East and the West of Europe
European Journal of Population, 2021
URL, JabRef BibTex, Abstract
The realisation rates of short-term childbearing intentions are known to be consistently lower in the post-socialist countries than in the rest of Europe. However, the East-West differences in the outcomes of intentions to postpone or forego (further) childbearing have not been previously examined. We employ two panel waves of the Generations and Gender Survey in six countries (three from Eastern and three from Western Europe), and, based on the short- and long-term fertility intentions expressed by respondents at the first survey wave, we classify the births occurring between two waves as intended, sooner-than-intended, or unintended. We find that in our study population of non-teenage respondents who had the same partner at both survey waves and a child between the two survey waves, with between around 10% (Western European countries) and 30% (Eastern European countries) experienced an unintended or a sooner-than-intended birth. The East-West difference is driven by the share of unintended parents which is clearly higher in the post-socialist countries. However, the geographical pattern fades away once we control for the anticipated effects of having a child. Our study gives insight into East-West differences in attitudes to childbearing and into how they affect reproductive behaviour. It also offers methodological improvements of cross-national panel surveys designed to examine childbearing intentions that would allow for a more accurate assessment of childbearing intendedness.

Reference


@article{Brzozowska2021a,
  author = {Zuzanna Brzozowska, Isabella Buber-Ennser, Bernhard Riederer},
  title = {Didn’t plan one but got one: Unintended and sooner-than-intended parents in the East and the West of Europe},
  year = {2021},
  journal = {European Journal of Population},
  month = {May},
  url = {https://doi.org/10.1007/s10680-021-09584-2},
  timestamp = {07.06.2021},
  abstract = {The realisation rates of short-term childbearing intentions are known to be consistently lower in the post-socialist countries than in the rest of Europe. However, the East-West differences in the outcomes of intentions to postpone or forego (further) childbearing have not been previously examined. We employ two panel waves of the Generations and Gender Survey in six countries (three from Eastern and three from Western Europe), and, based on the short- and long-term fertility intentions expressed by respondents at the first survey wave, we classify the births occurring between two waves as intended, sooner-than-intended, or unintended. We find that in our study population of non-teenage respondents who had the same partner at both survey waves and a child between the two survey waves, with between around 10% (Western European countries) and 30% (Eastern European countries) experienced an unintended or a sooner-than-intended birth. The East-West difference is driven by the share of unintended parents which is clearly higher in the post-socialist countries. However, the geographical pattern fades away once we control for the anticipated effects of having a child. Our study gives insight into East-West differences in attitudes to childbearing and into how they affect reproductive behaviour. It also offers methodological improvements of cross-national panel surveys designed to examine childbearing intentions that would allow for a more accurate assessment of childbearing intendedness.}
}
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