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The age at first birth and completed fertility reconsidered: findings from a sample of identical twins

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  • Hans-Peter Kohler

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Axel Skytthe
  • Kaare Christensen
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    Abstract

    In this paper we use new methods and data to reassess the relationship between the age at first birth and completed fertility. In particular we attempt to properly estimate the postponement effect, i.e., the reduction in fertility associated with a delay in childbearing, using a sample of Danish monozygotic twins born 1945--60 to control for unobserved heterogeneity. Within-MZ twin pair estimates of the postponement effect indicate that a one year delay in the first birth reduces completed fertility by about 3% for both males and females. The effect is significantly stronger for older cohorts, and it is stronger for females with a late desired entry into parenthood. Analyses that fail to control for unobservables underestimate this postponement effect between 10--25%, and they underestimate the annual decline of this effect by up to 50%. Moreover, our estimates indicate important changes across cohorts in the relevance of child-preferences and ability characteristics for the age at first birth and the pace and level of subsequent fertility. (AUTHORS)

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/Papers/Working/wp-2001-006.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2001-006.

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    Date of creation: Mar 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2001-006

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

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    Cited by:
    1. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures:," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(7), pages 145-190, March.
    2. Hans-Peter Kohler & Lisbeth B. Knudsen & Axel Skytthe & Kaare Christensen, 2002. "The Fertility Pattern of Twins and the General Population Compared: Evidence from Danish Cohorts 1945-64," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(14), pages 383-408, May.
    3. Massimiliano Bratti & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2012. "The effect of delaying motherhood on the second childbirth in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 291-321, January.
    4. Hans-Peter Kohler & Lisbeth B. Knudsen & Axel Skytthe & Kaare Christensen, 2002. "The fertility pattern of twins and the general population compared: evidence from Danish cohorts 1945-64," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2002-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Jere R. Behrman & Hans-Peter Kohler & Susan Cotts Watkins, 2001. "How can we measure the causal effects of social networks using observational data? Evidence from the diffusion of family planning and AIDS worries in South Nyanza District, Kenya," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2001-022, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Vegard Skirbekk & Hans-Peter Kohler & Alexia Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, 2003. "Completing education and the timing of births and marriage: findings from a birth-month experiment in Sweden," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2003-017, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Ralph Lattimore & Clinton Pobke, 2008. "Recent Trends in Australian Fertility," Staff Working Papers, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia 0806, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
    8. Hans-Peter Kohler & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "Tempo-Adjusted Period Parity Progression Measures, Fertility Postponement and Completed Cohort Fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(6), pages 91-144, March.
    9. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-46 is not listed on IDEAS

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