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France: High and stable fertility

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Author Info

  • Laurent Toulemon

    (Institut national d´études démographiques (INED))

  • Ariane Pailhé

    (Institut national d´études démographiques (INED))

  • Clémentine Rossier

    (Institut national d´études démographiques (INED))

Abstract

The current total fertility rate in France is around 1.9 children per woman. This is a relatively high level by current European standards and makes France an outlier, despite the fact that its other demographic trends, especially conjugal behaviour, and social and economic trends are not very different from other Western European countries. France can serve as a counterfactual test case for some of the hypotheses advanced to explain the current low level of fertility in most European countries (delay in fertility, decline in marriage, increased birth control, greater economic uncertainty). France’s fertility level can be partly explained by its active family policy introduced after the Second World War, and adapted in the 1980s to accommodate women’s entry into the labour force. This policy is the result of a battle, fuelled by pro-natalism, between the conservative supporters of family values and the promoters of state-supported individual equality. French family policy thus encompasses a wide range of measures based on varying ideological backgrounds, and it is difficult to classify in comparison to the more precisely focused family policies of other European welfare states. The active family policy seems to have created especially positive attitudes towards two- or three child families in France.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

Volume (Year): 19 (2008)
Issue (Month): 16 (July)
Pages: 503-556

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Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:16

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Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

Related research

Keywords: childbearing; fertility; France;

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References

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  1. Maria Rita Testa & Leonardo Grilli, 2006. "The Influence of Childbearing Regional Contexts on Ideal Family Size in Europe," Population (english edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 61(1), pages 99-127.
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  10. Laurent Toulemon & Magali Mazuy, 2001. "Les naissances sont retardées mais la fécondité est stable," Population (french edition), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED), vol. 56(4), pages 611-644.
  11. Del Boca, Daniela & Pasqua, Silvia & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2004. "Why Are Fertility and Women's Employment Rates So Low in Italy? Lessons from France and the U.K," IZA Discussion Papers 1274, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Anne Salles & Clémentine Rossier & Sara Brachet, 2010. "Understanding the long term effects of family policies on fertility: The diffusion of different family models in France and Germany," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(34), pages 1057-1096, June.
  2. Thomas Baudin, 2012. "More on Religion and Fertility: The French Connection," Working Papers, HAL hal-00993310, HAL.
  3. Ariane Pailhé & Anne Solaz, 2012. "The influence of employment uncertainty on childbearing in France: A tempo or quantum effect?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 26(1), pages 1-40, January.
  4. Olivier Thevenon, 2009. "Does fertility respond to work and family reconciliation policies in France?," Working Papers, HAL hal-00424832, HAL.
  5. Elizabeth Thomson & Maria Winkler-Dworak & Martin Spielauer & Alexia Prskawetz, 2012. "Union Instability as an Engine of Fertility? A Microsimulation Model for France," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 175-195, February.
  6. Joseph, Olivier & Pailhé, Ariane & Recotillet, Isabelle & Solaz, Anne, 2013. "The economic impact of taking short parental leave: Evaluation of a French reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 63-75.
  7. Inge Seiffge-Krenke & Roberta Molinar & Sylvia Ciariano & Palma Menna & Gregory Michel & Elsa Hoareau & Marion Kloep & Leo Hendry, 2010. "Competence in Coping with Future-Related Stress in Adolescents from France, Italy, Great Britain, and Germany," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(6), pages 703-720, December.
  8. Jessica Nisén & Pekka Martikainen & Karri Silventoinen & Mikko Myrskylä, 2014. "Age-specific fertility by educational level in the Finnish male cohort born 1940‒1950," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(5), pages 119-136, July.

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