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Overview Chapter 6: The diverse faces of the Second Demographic Transition in Europe

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  • Tomas Sobotka

    (Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences)

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    Abstract

    This chapter discusses the concept of the second demographic transition (SDT) and its relevance for explaining the ongoing changes in family and fertility patterns across Europe. It takes a closer look at the shifts in values and attitudes related to family, reproduction, and children, and their representation in different chapters in this collection. It re-examines the link between the second demographic transition and fertility, highlights its strong positive association with fertility at later childbearing ages, and suggests that the transition does not necessarily lead to sub-replacement fertility levels. Subsequently, it provides an extensive discussion on the progression of the SDT behind the former ‘Iron Curtain.’ To explain some apparent contradictions in this process, it employs a conceptual model of ‘readiness, willingness, and ability’ (RWA) advocated by Lesthaeghe and Vanderhoeft (2001). It also explores the multifaceted nature of the second demographic transition between different social groups, and points out an apparent paradox: whereas lower-educated individuals often embrace values that can be characterised as rather traditional, they also frequently manifest family behaviour associated with the transition, such as non-marital childbearing, high partnership instability, and high prevalence of long-term cohabitation. This suggests that there may be two different pathways of the progression of the second demographic transition. The concluding section points out the role of structural constraints for the diffusion of the transition among disadvantaged social strata, highlights the importance of the ‘gender revolution’ for the SDT trends, and discusses the usefulness of the SDT framework.

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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): 8 (July)
    Pages: 171-224

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:8

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Europe; family; family change; fertility; second demographic transition; values;

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    1. Michaela PotanÄoková & Boris Vano & Viera Pilinská & DanuÅ¡a JurÄová, 2008. "Slovakia: Fertility between tradition and modernity," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(25), pages 973-1018, July.
    2. Francesco C. Billari & Chris Wilson, 2001. "Convergence towards diversity? Cohort dynamics in the transition to adulthood in contemporary Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-039, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Cornelia Muresan, 2007. "Family dynamics in pre- and post-transition Romania: a life-table description," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-018, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Pau Baizán Munoz & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2001. "Cohabitation, marriage, first birth: the interrelationship of family formation events in Spain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-036, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Shelly Lundberg & Robert A. Pollak, 2007. "The American Family and Family Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 3-26, Spring.
    6. Dimiter Philipov & Aiva Jasilioniene, 2007. "Union formation and fertility in Bulgaria and Russia: a life table description of recent trends," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    8. Brienna Perelli-Harris, 2008. "Ukraine: On the border between old and new in uncertain times," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(29), pages 1145-1178, July.
    9. Livia Sz. Oláh & Eva Bernhardt, 2008. "Sweden: Combining childbearing and gender equality," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(28), pages 1105-1144, July.
    10. Alessandra De Rose & Filomena Racioppi & Anna Laura Zanatta, 2008. "Italy: Delayed adaptation of social institutions to changes in family behaviour," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(19), pages 665-704, July.
    11. Irena E. Kotowska & Janina Jóźwiak & Anna Matysiak & Anna Baranowska, 2008. "Poland: Fertility decline as a response to profound societal and labour market changes?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(22), pages 795-854, July.
    12. Kalev Katus & Asta Põldma & Allan Puur & Luule Sakkeus, 2007. "First union formation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania: patterns across countries and gender," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(10), pages 247-300, November.
    13. Claudia Goldin, 2006. "The Quiet Revolution That Transformed Women's Employment, Education, and Family," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 1-21, May.
    14. Tomas Sobotka & Anna Å t’astná & Krystof Zeman & Dana Hamplová & Vladimíra Kantorová, 2008. "Czech Republic: A rapid transformation of fertility and family behaviour after the collapse of state socialism," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(14), pages 403-454, July.
    15. Nada Stropnik & Milivoja Å ircelj, 2008. "Slovenia: Generous family policy without evidence of any fertility impact," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(26), pages 1019-1058, July.
    16. Ron J. Lesthaeghe & Lisa Neidert, 2006. "The Second Demographic Transition in the United States: Exception or Textbook Example?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(4), pages 669-698.
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    Cited by:
    1. Dimiter Philipov & Aiva Jasilioniene, 2008. "Union formation and fertility in Bulgaria and Russia: A life table description of recent trends," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(62), pages 2057-2114, December.
    2. David De Wachter & Karel Neels, 2011. "Educational differentials in fertility intentions and outcomes: family formation in Flanders in the early 1990s," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 9(1), pages 227-258.
    3. Brienna Perelli-Harris & Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Michaela Kreyenfeld & Trude Lappegård & Caroline Berghammer & Renske Keizer, 2010. "The educational gradient of nonmarital childbearing in Europe: emergence of a pattern of disadvantage?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Evgenia Bystrov, 2012. "The Second Demographic Transition in Israel: One for All?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 27(10), pages 261-298, August.
    5. Anna Matysiak, 2009. "Is Poland really 'immune' to the spread of cohabitation?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(8), pages 215-234, August.
    6. Mikolaj Szoltysek, 2011. "The genealogy of Eastern European difference: an insider’s view," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2011-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Zsolt Spéder & Balázs Kapitány, 2014. "Failure to Realize Fertility Intentions: A Key Aspect of the Post-communist Fertility Transition," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 393-418, June.
    8. Frederik Peters, 2010. "Späte Mutterschaft als medizinischer Risikofaktor?: Der Einfluss des Alters der Mutter auf das Risiko der Frühgeburt," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 342, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    9. Anna Matysiak, 2012. "Fertility developments in Central and Eastern Europe: the role of work-family tensions," Working Papers 49, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    10. Monika Mynarska & Anna Matysiak, 2010. "Diffusion of cohabitation in Poland," Working Papers 19, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    11. Monika Mynarska, 2011. "Kiedy mieæ dziecko? Jakoœciowe badanie procesu odraczania decyzji o rodzicielstwie," Working Papers 32, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    12. Jan M. Hoem & Cornelia Muresan & Mihaela Haragus, 2013. "Recent features of cohabitational and marital fertility in Romania," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-007, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    13. Jan M. Hoem & Dora Kostova & Aiva Jasilioniene & Cornelia Muresan, 2009. "The structure of recent first-union formation in Romania," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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