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An alternative framework for studying the effects of family policies on fertility in the absence of individual-level data: a spatial analysis with small-scale macro data on Germany

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  • Sebastian Klüsener

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

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    Abstract

    For studying both individual-level and small-scale contextual influences on the effects of family policies on fertility, Multilevel Event History methods are the state-of-the-art. But in many countries, these methods cannot be applied because the available individual-level data are inadequate. This paper uses an alternative methodological framework that can be of help in these cases. It utilizes small-scale macro data, which is analyzed with Exploratory Data, Cluster, and Spatial Panel Model Analysis techniques. In a case study on the western German city of Bremen, the potential of this approach, as well as its limitations, are investigated. The study analyzes the impact of the parental leave reform of 1986 and the child benefit reform of 1996 on fertility levels in different city quarters (Stadtteile) of Bremen. The results indicate that both family policy reforms had, at least in the short-term, a significant impact on fertility levels. These positive effects were stronger in economically disadvantaged quarters. The findings also suggest that the reforms affected the timing more than the quantum of fertility. With regard to the methodological framework, we can conclude that the Spatial Analysis with small-scale macro data is a useful alternative when there is no individual-level data available for carrying out a Multilevel Event History Analysis.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2009-027.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-2009-027.

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    Length: 32 pages
    Date of creation: Oct 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2009-027

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Bremen; Germany; family policies; fertility trends; methodology; spatial analysis;

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    1. Tomas Kögel, 2004. "Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 45-65, February.
    2. Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
    3. Øystein Kravdal, 2002. "The impact of individual and aggregate unemployment on fertility in Norway," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(10), pages 263-294, April.
    4. 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.
    5. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
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