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.
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.
The „Generations and Gender Survey (GGS)“ is an important data source for studying the dynamics of families and family relationships, it was out in Austria in 2008/09. After adjustment for age, sex, employment status, country of birth and living arrangements, we revealed a bias towards women with higher parities among the cohorts born until the mid- 1970s. Since parity is an important aspect for fertility analyses, weights were generated for the female sample that additionally adjust for the cohort-specific parity distribution. In this paper, we describe the original prevailing bias and inform the GGS user about the adjustment with the weights for the Austrian GGS. These weights are provided by VID to the international scientific community and are included in the Austrian GGS dataset.
This study presents a life-table description of events related to the experience of children and of parents as they changed during the last two decencies, 1985-2005, in Romania. We consider the perspectives of men as well as of women and of couples as well as of children. The data we used stems from the Generations and Gender Survey carried out in Romania in 2005. We document for family behavioral changes that have accompanied the political and socio-economic transformation following the fall of the communist regime. We found that parenthood is still experienced very soon after entry into first marriage, and even slightly sooner when the first union starts as a cohabitation. However shotgun marriages, i.e. pregnancy followed by wedding, remain at the same level during the whole period. From children’s perspective the changes are related to a growing number and proportion born to cohabiting couples. Lone motherhood remains relatively rare. In post-socialist Romania fewer children experience parental disruptions than in the period of communist rule, and fewer children born to a lone mother experience a step father.