Second births in western Germany and France
We compare second birth risks in France and western Germany using data from the Family and Fertility Survey. Second birth risks are higher for highly educated women than for women with lower education in both countries. In western Germany, the positive effect weakens after controlling for the education level of the partner. The positive effect of French women’s education remains unchanged, even after controlling for the partners’ characteristics. We interpret this finding in the sense that work and family life are more compatible in France, where highly educated women can turn their education more often into work opportunities and income. West German women often have to make a decision between an employment career and motherhood as two exclusive life options. In such a situation, it is primarily the partners’ earning potential that influences fertility.
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