In this paper, we look into how country-specific factors shape the interrelationship between childbearing and women’s labor supply. To this end, we compare Italy and Poland, two low-fertility countries where the country-specific obstacles to work and family reconciliation are similarly strong but which differ in the history of women’s labor supply and the extent to which couples’material aspirations are satisfied by men’s earnings. Our findings show that women’s employment clearly conflicts with childbearing in Italy, while in Polandwomen tend to combine the two activities, despite the similar difficulties they face. These results challenged the standard microeconomic explanations and point to the importance of other country-specific factors, apart from conditions for work and family reconciliation, in shaping women’s employment and fertility decisions, such as economic incentives or culturally rooted behavioral patterns. Overall, our study provides thus foundations for explaining the variation in the relationship between women’s employment and fertility in an enlarged Europe.
Abstract: This paper validates the fertility histories of the German Generations and Gender Survey (GGS). Focusing on the cohorts 1930-69 of West German women, the total number of children, the parity distribution and the parity progression ratios are compared to external sources. One major result from this validation is that the German GGS understates the fertility for the older cohorts and overstates it for the younger ones. We presume that two mechanisms are responsible for this pattern in the German GGS: On the one hand, children who have left parental home are underreported in the retrospective fertility histories. On the other hand, women with small children are easier to reach by the interviewer. These two mechanisms taken together produce too low numbers of children for the older and too high ones for the younger cohorts. Extending the validation to marital histories has revealed a similar bias. Our general conclusion from this investigation is that the German GGS may not be used for statistical analyses of cohort fertility and marriage trends. For subsequent surveys, we suggest integrating simple control questions in questionnaires with complex retrospective fertility and union histories.
Neyer, Gerda and Lappegard, Trude and Vignoli, Daniele
Does gender equality matter for fertility? Demographic findings on this issue are rather inconclusive. We argue that one reason for this is that the complexity of the concept of gender equality has received insufficient attention. Gender equality needs to be conceptualized in a manner that goes beyond perceiving it as mere ‘‘sameness of distribution’’. It needs to include notions of gender equity and thus to allow for distinguishing between gender difference and gender inequality. We sketch three dimensions of gender equality related to employment, financial resources, and family work, which incorporate this understanding: (1) the ability to maintain a household; (2) agency and the capability to choose; and (3) gender equity in household and care work. We explore their impact on childbearing intentions of women and men using the European Generations and Gender Surveys. Our results confirm the need for a more nuanced notion of gender equality in studies on the relationship between gender equality on fertility. They show that there is no uniform effect of gender equality on childbearing intentions, but that the impact varies by gender and by parity.
Di Giulio, P. and Bühler, C. and Ette, A. and Fraboni, R. and Ruckdeschel, K.
Despite the many differences that exist between Italy, Bulgaria, and Germany, the three countries are among those with the lowest fertility rates in Europe. However, they differ in the level of public support for families and the role of informal supportive networks in daily life. Italy and Bulgaria, on the one hand, share very low levels of public support. In both countries, consequently, informal supportive networks based on family relationships and kinship have a strong tradition and a high relevance for getting things done. In Germany, however, support by family policy is much stronger and the importance of such supportive networks is weaker. The paper addresses the question whether these different constellations of public and informal social support have an impact on reproductive decision-making. In particular, it concentrates on the impact of supportive networks on intentions to have a second child. Analyses based on data from the “Generations and Gender Programme”, a comparative survey that was conducted recently in all three countries, provide mixed results. While there is a significant influence of access to informal support on the intention to have a second child in Bulgaria and no significant effect in West Germany, findings for Italy obviously contradict theoretical propositions and suggest that future analysis takes more comprehensive account of the work strategy of the mothers in the context of the current Italian labour market characteristics.
We examine the impact of precarious work (low income and job security satisfaction) on the intention to have a first child. We consider a direct and an indirect effect; the latter is mediated by partners’ conflict behaviour, conflict level, and partnership quality. We assume that a satisfactory partnership is positively associated with the intention to have a first child. The analyses are based on a subsample of the German Generations and Gender Survey. For men we found a direct effect of income and an indirect effect of job security satisfaction on childbearing intentions, whereas for women no direct and only a weak indirect impact of precarious work could be observed.
Neyer, Gerda and Lappegård, Trude and Vignoli, Daniele
Does gender equality matter for fertility? Demographic findings to this question are rather inconclusive. We argue that gender equality is a complex issue that needs to be conceptualized in a way which includes gender equity and allows for gender differences but uncovers gender inequalities. We explore this approach by investigating the impact of four dimensions of gender equality on women´s and men´s childbearing intentions in Europe: the possibility to maintain a household, the capabilities to choose, the resources to have agency, and gender equity in household work and in care. We apply logistic regressions to data of the Generations and Gender Survey. Our results suggest that gender equality and fertility intentions are intertwined in a multi-faceted way, and that gender equality in the areas which we examine exert different impacts on women’s and men’s childbearing intentions. Our study also confirms that parenthood still constitutes a dividing line between more and less gender equality, and that this affects childbearing intentions of childless women and childless men differently than that of mothers and fathers. This necessitates an approach which allows identifying the essential gender inequalities in employment, in society, and in the family which matter for childbearing decisions.
Academic women in Austria and Germany have extraordinarily high final levels of childlessness of 45-60%, as documented by prior research. This study investigates how female scientists’ fertility behaviour relates to their childbearing ideals and intentions in Austria. It analyses whether high childlessness and low numbers of children are intended or not. By looking additionally at employment conditions and partnership status, this study points to possible obstacles hindering couples to realise their childbearing desires. Furthermore, it shows how female scientists combine their academic career and childcare. The analysis is based on a sample of female scientists who had applied for a grant at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (n=196). It comprises women aged 25-45 who work in different scientific fields in Austria. Female scientists aged 40-45 have 0.9 children on average and 44% remain childless. However, these levels are far from the number of offspring that young scientists under the age of 35 intend to have. They perceive on average two as their ideal and intended number; only around 10% want to stay childless. Several obstacles which impede childbearing were identified, e.g. the strong work commitment of the female scientists, the need to be geographically mobile and the high prevalence of living apart together relationships. As for the combination of work and family, female scientists return back to work quickly after they have a child. Most do not regard the family as the main caregiver but perceive a division of tasks between the family and the public as preferable.
It is often assumed that informal unions are much less likely to produce children than traditional marriages, so that extension of the practice of unregistered cohabitation will have negative impact on the overall fertility. So advocates of traditional family life see its erosion as a cause of the recent fertility decline. But is fertility in fact so different in different types of union? To answer this question we analyze the average number of children born in the first union (first for the woman), which still make the chief contribution to the overall fertility. Thanks to the data came from the first wave of the Russian “Generations and Gender survey” (RusGGS-2004) we are able to compare fertility in three types of union: (1) unions, which began with official registration (about 50% of all first unions for women born in 1975-1979); (2) unions, which began with cohabitation, followed by marriage registration (about 40%); (3) informal unions, which remained unregistered (about 10%). As of today, unions, which started with marriage, and consensual unions, which were converted into marriage at a later date, are almost identical with respect to fertility for women aged 25 and 35. Nor was there ever any clear trend in differences between fertility for the two types of union in the past. From the point of view of completed fertility, official status of the union does not seem to have any significance in modern Russia, though a psychological sense of uncertainty about the relationship in case of unregistered unions may have negative impact on decisions about child-bearing. On the other hand, it could be that such unions are not registered and the relationships are more liable to threat of breakdown precisely because the partners cannot agree about having a child together.
This paper follows previous research on the role of social capital and gender equity in fertility behavior. Our research question is to what extent social capital and gender equality in housework and childcare can explain fertility intentions and subsequent births in Russia. Russia is a country with prevalence of one-child families, whereas social norm is still two-children family. Since state support of families with children is weak and public childcare is underdeveloped, families bear most of child-related costs. The paper is based on two waves of Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), conducted in Russia in 2004 and 2007. Sample includes women of 18-44 and men with partners of the same age. We used binary logit models. Dependent variables include a) intentions to give birth within 3 years, b) births between two waves. Main explanatory variables include gender equity and social capital. The former varies from traditional to egalitarian partnerships. The latter is measured by five variables - 'parental family', 'attitudes toward intergenerational support', 'financial transfers', 'closeness to parents' and 'received childcare'. We control for sex, birth cohort, regional availability of public childcare, socio-economic status. The results show that social network for childcare does not influence either intended or actual fertility. Close relations with separately living parents increase only intentions to become parents. But access to financial transfers influence both intended and actual births of the first and second child. Besides, egalitarian division of housework and childcare significantly increases the probability of first and second births and probability of intentions to have a second child. The tentative conclusion is that gender equity concept is more relevant to explaining fertility behavior of Russian population than social capital.
“Familism” can be identified with the people’s attitude to consider their own utility and family utility as being one and the same thing. Familistic practices and attitudes - which concern downward (toward children) and upward (toward the old) intergenerational ties - has been associated to Italian couples’ reproductive behavior. However, results differ at the macro and the micro level. This paper will focus on intergenerational downward ties in Italy and their effect, at the individual level, on fertility intentions. The controversial term “familism” will be, firstly, defined in connection with other expressions like “strong family”, “stem-family” and “too much family”. Intergenerational downward ties and the related practices, specified as part of the broader frame of familism, will be, then, operationalize. Finally, intergenerational downward practices will be considered in connection with Italian couples’ reproductive intentions in a multivariate analysis. We will analyze data from the “Generations and Gender” survey for Italy. Our dependent variable is the couple intention to have a child (or another child) in the next three years. Intergenerational downward ties will refer to grandparents’ informal childcare, monetary transfers toward children, and satisfaction with relationship with parents. Grandparents’ attitude toward another grandchild – as perceived by interviewer - is also taken into account. We will control for variables that can affect grandparent’s involvement and fertility intentions, as the life stage of grandparents and grandchildren, along with classical control variables (partners’ education, partners’ working status, region of residence). According to preliminary analyses, geographical proximity of mother-in-law seems to have a negative effect on woman’s intentions to have a second and a third child. The hypothesis of an intergeneration downward normative pressure to limit fertility is considered.
The paper analyses the advantages and shortcomings of the two approaches of generating indicators of fertility patterns on the example of German speaking countries (Austria, Switzerland and Germany). Individual-level surveys like the Fertility and Family Survey (FFS), Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) or Population Policy Acceptance Survey (PPA) are primary sources for fertility analysis. Investigations from surveys are essential for understanding how socioeconomic and cultural factors determine family formation patterns. The main purpose of surveys is usually not deriving fertility rates, anyway it is important to see how reliable these data can be and whether they cover the reality sufficiently. Survey data are limited due to two crucial issues: sample sizes are too small and time periods are too short to display long time trends. The sample bias related to fertility estimates should be considered carefully – some members of population could be underreported in the sample, which might be corrected by incorporating weights. Hence, a clear validation is important for assessing the degree of reliance due to estimations from survey data. Vital statistics or data from population censuses have an important advantage over survey data because they provide a large number of recorded persons. Furthermore, demographic events are precisely recorded by official registers. However, the detail of the given information is not always sufficient (e.g. lacking information on birth order in Germany and Switzerland). The major question is to see if fertility indicators based on individual-level survey data differ substantially from those reported in vital statistics. Do we always face the same patterns of discrepancies due to the notorious problem of overestimation of fertility levels in surveys? The paper concludes that single and childless women are usually underreported in surveys, overestimating thus the level of fertility. The comparative approach of the paper allows assessing the quality of selected surveys.
A growing body of research documents the persistent relevance of religiosity for partnership and reproductive behaviour in Europe. This study expands the current knowledge by analysing whole union and fertility trajectories – i.e. entering cohabitation versus direct marriage, non-marital childbearing, number of children, divorce – instead of focusing on single events as previous research did. It is based on data from the first wave of the Austrian Generations and Gender Survey (2008/09) and includes 1,249 women and men aged 40-45. Using sequence analysis, respondents are first clustered around several template family life paths. Afterwards, the role of religiosity in following one rather than another path is ascertained with the help of multinomial logit regression. Four aspects – affiliation, mass attendance, self-assessed religiosity and religious socialisation – are considered. Compared to their less religious peers, religious people are more likely to choose direct marriage rather than prior cohabitation. Yet they prefer the latter option over more ‘adverse’ life paths involving non-marital childbearing, sequential cohabitation and divorce. Permanent singlehood without children is equally widespread among both groups. Differences in religiosity play a minor role in explaining why people have two or three children, once they have decided to enter premarital cohabitation or to marry directly.
Kreyenfeld, M. and Hornung, A. and Kubisch, K. and Jaschinski, I.
This paper validates the fertility and union histories of the German Generations and Gender Survey (GGS). One major result from this validation is that the fertility of the older GGS-cohorts is too low, while it is too high for the younger cohorts. For partnership histories, we find a similar bias. In sum, the GGS gives wrong cohort fertility and marriage trends for Germany. We speculate on various sources for this bias in the data. However, we were unable to find a remedy to cure it.
In Western countries, rates of second and third births typically increase with educational attainment, a feature that usually disappears if unobserved heterogeneity is brought into the event-history analysis. By contrast, in a country like Romania, second and third birth rates have been found to decline when moving across groups with increasing education, and the decline becomes greater if unobserved heterogeneity is added to the analysis. The present paper demonstrates this pattern, and shows that, because this feature is retained in the presence of control variables, such as age at first birth and period effects, the selectivity is not produced by a failure to account for the control variables.
What we will call the age-based TMFR is computed by adding up age-specific marital-fertility rates in the hope of estimating the number of children ever born to a woman who is married throughout the childbearing years. Demographers have long been strongly skeptical about this quantity because it normally indicates implausibly many children. Our analysis of data from the Romanian GGS confirms this finding, but also shows that when we embed the investigation in an event-history analysis with fixed and time-varying control covariates, patterns of relative risks reveal interesting features of childbearing behavior which are quite robust against model re-specification. This is also true when we replace the age-based TMFR by an alternative duration-based TMFR and extend the method to cover any type of living arrangement. Because the resulting Total Union-type Fertility Rate (TUFR) explicitly accounts for the living arrangement, it improves on the Total Fertility Rate, which does not. This highlights the importance of transcending the limitations of conventional published statistics and gives a scope for improving the latter.
The paper provides an extensive descriptive analysis and comparison of recent trends in union formation and fertility in Bulgaria and Russia. The analysis is based on data from the Generation and Gender Surveys (GGS) carried out in 2004. We generate a large number of single- and multi-decrement life tables describing various life course events: leaving home and separation from the parental family, entry into union, first and second childbirth, divorce. Life tables are constructed for real cohorts as well as for synthetic cohorts. We study four real cohorts, born in 1940-44, 1950-54, 1960-64 and 1970-74. Synthetic-cohort life tables are constructed for three periods of time, referring to the pre-transitional demographic situation (1985-1989), the beginning of the transition (1990-1994) and recent demographic developments (1999-2003). We study also Roma and Turkish ethnic groups in Bulgaria. The life tables deliver detailed information that is otherwise unavailable. Our tentative findings indicate that societal transformation had a stronger impact on family-related behavior in the Bulgarian population than in the population of Russia. There is evidence that in some aspects Bulgaria is lagging behind other former socialist and Western European countries where the second demographic transition is more advanced. Evidence also suggests that Russia is lagging behind Bulgaria. However, certain specific features distinctive to Russia, such as the low level of childlessness, a drastic drop in second and subsequent births, and very high divorce rates even compared to Western European countries (it is a long-standing, not just recent trend), lead us to think that Russia may have a model of change particular to the country.
This paper contributes to the analysis of fertility differentials between migrants and the native-born by examining the transition to first child using event history analysis. We looked for a tool that could link anthropological investigation with the representativeness of a statistical study. The meeting point is anthropological demography that permits the merging of different methods and approaches. We use event history as quantitative translation of the life course approach. The data examined are the first-wave Italian Families and Social Subjects Survey conducted in 2003 and the first-wave Russian Gender and Generations Survey conducted in 2004. The datasets are examined separately and the results are contrasted. An immigrant is or this study defined as a person born outside of the country at interest. The objective of the study is twofold: First we seek to determine whether differences exist in the decision and timing of childbearing between native and foreign-born women in Italy and in Russia. Second we aim to compare the experiences of immigrants in the two countries, to determine whether there may be any commonalities inherent to the immigrant populations, despite moving into widely different contexts. This leads us to the following two conclusions: First, the similarities in the risk profiles of our immigrants into vastly different country contexts is more suggestive of immigrants being a distinct group rather than assimilating or conforming to the native fertility patterns. Second, our results do not seem to confirm the presence of either disruption or family formation being key events associated with migration.
This study investigates the effect of educational attainment and educational enrolment on the risks of second birth in Romania, using data from the Generations and Gender Survey of 2005. Looking at the 1950-2005 period, we found a persistently negative effect of education on second birth, i.e., women with a relatively high level of education have lower risks of birth. Being in education significantly reduces the risk of second birth compared to women with no educational qualification. The risk is not lower, however, when we compare women who are still enrolled in education with individuals who have a high level of education. The strong negative effect of age at first birth observed when we do not control for personality weakens once we control for unobserved heterogeneity. We also show the extent to which changes in the socio-political regime, in family policies, and in the educational system affect the impact of education on second births.
Vikat, A. and Beets, G. and Billari, F. and Bühler, C. and Corijn, M. and Désesquelles, A. and Fokkema, T. and MacDonald, A. L. and Neyer, G. and Pailhé, A. and Pinnelli, A. and Solaz, A. and Spéder, Z.
The Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) is one of the two pillars of the Generations and Gender Programme designed to improve understanding of demographic and social development and of the factors that influence these developments. This article describes how the theoretical perspectives applied in the survey, the survey design and the questionnaire are related to this objective. The key features of the survey include panel design, multidisciplinarity, comparability, context-sensitivity, inter-generational and gender relationships. The survey applies the life course approach, focussing on the processes of childbearing, partnership dynamics, home leaving, and retiring. The selection of topics for data collection mainly follows the criterion of theoretically grounded relevance to explaining one or more of the mentioned processes. A large portion of the survey deals with economic aspects of life, such as economic activity, income, and economic well-being; a comparably large section is devoted to values and attitudes. Other domains covered by the survey include gender relationships, household composition and housing, residential mobility, social networks and private transfers, education, health, and public transfers. The third chapter of the article describes the motivations for their inclusion. The GGS questionnaire is designed for a face-to-face interview. It includes the core that each participating country needs to implement in full, and four optional sub-modules on nationality and ethnicity, on previous partners, on intentions of breaking up, and on housing, respectively. The participating countries are encouraged to include also the optional sub-modules to facilitate comparative research on these topics.
Our study describes fundamental changes in childbearing behavior in Hungary. It documents current postponement of entry into motherhood (first birth) and uncovers signs of delay in second birth. We place the behavioral modifications into historical time and reveal the basic role of the political, economic, and societal transformation of Hungary that started in 1989-1990 in these modifications. We document postponement as well as differentiation, and mothers’ highest level of education will represent the structural position of individuals. We shed light on the different speed of postponement and support the assumption of behavioral differences according to the highest level of education. Particular attention will be paid to changing partnership relations: Fertility outcomes remain to be strongly associated with the type of partnership and its development; profound changes in partnership formation, namely the proliferation of cohabitation and the increasing separation rate of first partnerships, may therefore facilitate fertility decline in Hungary. The analysis is based on the first wave of the Hungarian panel survey "Turning points of the life course" carried out in 2001/2002.
Since the beginning of the political and economic transition of the late 1980s and early 1990s, significant changes in the demographic behavior have been observed in Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to a dramatic decline of the Total Fertility Rate, the decrease in the numbers of marriages and the increase of cohabitations and extra marital births are the main aspects of the change in family formation behavior in Russia. Before the political and economic transition, individual’s life-courses were structured by social and economic policies that guaranteed a modest level of living to everybody. After 1991, under the conditions of an emerging market economy, many Russian households experienced substantial economic hardships and uncertainties. The economic downturn had become one of the major factors responsible for the significant and rapid decline of Russian Total Fertility Rate. While the Total Fertility Rate decreased rapidly after the end of the 1990s, the Completed Fertility Rate has remained nearly constant. A reason for this development could be the postponement of births. The main research question in this context is to find out which factors influence the intentions to have a or a subsequent child in the next three years. The special focus of our study is to analyze the fertility intentions of Russian men. In the past, fertility behavior of men was rarely studied. But the intentions of men to have children differ from those of women in many ways. Men mostly bear the major burden of the financial security of the family and have a different perspective of the economic situation. Referring to the theories of family formation, mainly to the economic theories, we analyze, how the economic situation influences the intentions concerning family formation. We use the Russian Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) which was conducted in 2004. It contains information about demographic indicators, the economic situation and also information about family planning intentions. To analyze the data we applied a logistical regression. One of the main results is an enormous difference between the influences on the intentions to have a first or a subsequent child. Whereas the desire to have a first child is far less influenced by economic factors, these are the decisive factors for the decision to have a second, third or subsequent child. We assume that in the case of childless men emotional, mental and normative factors influence the intentions to have a child much more than economic circumstances. For men with at least one child we show that the objective economic situation as well as its subjective perception have a strong influence on the intention to have another child in the next three years. Both, the household net income and the subjective appraisal of the economic circumstances have a strong positive influence on the intention to have another child. For respondents who have no children we did not find such an effect.