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Czech Republic: A rapid transformation of fertility and family behaviour after the collapse of state socialism

Author

Listed:
  • Tomáš Sobotka

    (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU))

  • Anna Št’astná

    (Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs (RILSA))

  • Krystof Zeman

    (Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU))

  • Dana Hamplová

    (Czech Academy of Sciences)

  • Vladimíra Kantorová

    (United Nations)

Abstract

Following the swift demise of the state-socialist regime in 1989, a profound transformation of family and fertility patterns has taken place in the Czech Republic. Family formation has been postponed and period fertility rates have fallen to very low levels, especially among young adults. Unmarried cohabitation has become relatively widespread and marriages have been progressively delayed or even foregone. These rapid shifts in family-related behaviour were primarily driven by a period change and resulted in a sharp discontinuity in cohort patterns of union formation and childbearing. We argue that the rapid change in family-related behaviour after 1990 was driven by a fundamental shift in the constraints and incentives for childbearing, which was conducive to later and more carefully planned family formation. The rapidity of observed changes can be explained as the outcome of a simultaneous occurrence of several factors, especially the expansion of higher education, the emergence of new opportunities competing with family life, increasing job competition, rising economic uncertainty in young adulthood, and changing partnership behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Tomáš Sobotka & Anna Št’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.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:14
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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol19/14/19-14.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Vladimir M. Shkolnikov & Evgueni M. Andreev & René Houle & James W. Vaupel, 2004. "To concentration of reproduction in cohorts of US and European women," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-027, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Johannes Huinink & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2004. "Family formation in times of social and economic change: an analysis of the 1971 East German cohort," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua R. Goldstein & Tomáš Sobotka & Aiva Jasilioniene, 2009. "The end of 'lowest-low' fertility? (with supplementary materials)," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-029, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Alzbeta Mullerova, 2017. "Family policy and maternal employment in the Czech transition: a natural experiment," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 1185-1210.
    3. Tomáš Sobotka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 6: The diverse faces of the Second Demographic Transition in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(8), pages 171-224, July.
    4. Nataliia Levchuk & Brienna Perelli-Harris, 2009. "Declining fertility in Ukraine: what is the role of abortion and contraception?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-045, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Anna Matysiak, 2011. "Fertility Developments In Central And Eastern Europe: The Role Of Work–Family Tensions," Demográfia English Edition, Hungarian Demographic Research Institute, vol. 54(5), pages 7-30.
    6. Tomas Frejka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 5: Determinants of family formation and childbearing during the societal transition in Central and Eastern Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(7), pages 139-170, July.
    7. 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.
    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. Martina Štípková, 2015. "Ideational and Economic Causes of the Rise in Non-marital Childbearing in the Czech Republic," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 31(5), pages 473-494, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    childbearing; Czech Republic; Europe; family; fertility; state socialism;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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