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

  • Tomas Sobotka

    (Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences)

  • Anna Å t’astná

    (Research Institute for Labour and Social Affairs)

  • Krystof Zeman

    (Austrian Academy of Sciences)

  • Dana Hamplová

    (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)

  • Vladimíra Kantorová

    (United Nations)

Registered author(s):

    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.

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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol19/14/19-14.pdf
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    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 14 (July)
    Pages: 403-454

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:14
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
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