IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/dem/demres/v19y2008i15.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

England and Wales: Stable fertility and pronounced social status differences

Author

Listed:
  • Wendy Sigle

    (London School of Economics and Political Science)

Abstract

For nearly three decades, the total fertility rate in England and Wales has remained high relative to other European countries, and stable at about 1.7 births per woman. In this chapter, we examine trends in both period and cohort fertility throughout the twentieth century, and demonstrate some important differences across demographic and social groups in the timing and quantum of fertility. Breaking with a market-oriented and laissez-faire approach to work and family issues, the last 10 years have seen the introduction of new social and economic policies aimed at providing greater support to families with children. However, the effect of the changes is likely to be limited to families on the lower end of the income scale. Rather than facilitating work and parenthood, some policies create incentives for a traditional gendered division of labour. Fertility appears to have remained stable despite, rather than because of, government actions.

Suggested Citation

  • Wendy Sigle, 2008. "England and Wales: Stable fertility and pronounced social status differences," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(15), pages 455-502.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:15
    DOI: 10.4054/DemRes.2008.19.15
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol19/15/19-15.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.4054/DemRes.2008.19.15?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Smith, Ian, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-544, November.
    2. Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Jane Waldfogel, 2007. "Motherhood and women's earnings in Anglo-American, Continental European, and Nordic Countries," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 55-91.
    3. F. Cerina & E. Dienesch & A. Moro & M. Rendall, 2019. "Spatial Polarization," Working Paper CRENoS 201909, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    4. Alan Manning & Barbara Petrongolo, 2005. "The Part-Time Pay Penalty," CEP Discussion Papers dp0679, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Julie Jefferies & Ann Berrington & Ian Diamond, 2000. "Childbearing Following Marital Dissolution in Britain," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 16(3), pages 193-210, September.
    6. John Hobcraft, 2000. "The Roles of Schooling and Educational Qualifications in the Emergence of Adult Social Exclusion," CASE Papers case43, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    7. O'Donoghue, Cathal & Sutherland, Holly, 1999. "Accounting for the Family in European Income Tax Systems," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(5), pages 565-598, September.
    8. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Cohabitation in Great Britain: not for long, but here to stay," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 163(2), pages 153-171.
    9. 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, December.
    10. repec:cai:poeine:pope_203_0475 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Paul Gregg & Maria Gutiérrez‐Domènech & Jane Waldfogel, 2007. "The Employment of Married Mothers in Great Britain, 1974–2000," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 74(296), pages 842-864, November.
    12. Berthoud, Richard & Robson, Karen, 2003. "Early motherhood and disadvantage: a comparison between ethnic groups," ISER Working Paper Series 2003-29, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Tomas Frejka & Jean-Paul Sardon, 2006. "Cohort birth order, parity progression ratio and parity distribution trends in developed countries," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-045, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    14. Vladimir M. Shkolnikov & Evgueni M. Andreev & René Houle & James W. Vaupel, 2007. "The Concentration of Reproduction in Cohorts of Women in Europe and the United States," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(1), pages 67-100, March.
    15. Ian Smith, 1997. "Explaining the Growth of Divorce in Great Britain," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 44(5), pages 519-543, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lara Tavares, 2008. "Who delays childbearing? The relationships between fertility, education and personality traits," Working Papers 009, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    2. Alicia Adserà & Ana Ferrer, 2014. "Immigrants and Demography: Marriage, Divorce, and Fertility," Working Papers 1401, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2014.
    3. Ann Berrington & Juliet Stone & Eva Beaujouan, 2015. "Educational differences in timing and quantum of childbearing in Britain," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 33(26), pages 733-764.
    4. Ina Berninger & Bernd Weiß & Michael Wagner, 2011. "On the links between employment, partnership quality, and the desire to have a first child," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 24(24), pages 579-610.
    5. Katerina Georgiadis, 2011. "Fertile Debates: A Comparative Account of Low Fertility in the British and Greek National Press [Des débats féconds: analyse comparative de la prise en compte des faibles fécondités dans les presse," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 27(2), pages 243-262, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Ben Wilson, 2020. "Understanding How Immigrant Fertility Differentials Vary over the Reproductive Life Course," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 36(3), pages 465-498, July.
    8. Monika Mynarska & Anna Matysiak, 2010. "Diffusion of cohabitation in Poland," Working Papers 19, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    9. Schober, Pia S., 2013. "Gender Equality and Outsourcing of Domestic Work, Childbearing, and Relationship Stability Among British Couples," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 25-52.
    10. Nitzan Peri-Rotem & Jacqueline Scott, 2017. "Differences in partnership and marital status at first birth by women’s and their partners’ education: evidence from Britain 1991–2012," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 15(1), pages 181-213.
    11. 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.
    12. Alícia Adserà & Ana M. Ferrer & Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Ben Wilson, 2012. "Fertility Patterns of Child Migrants," The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, , vol. 643(1), pages 160-189, September.
    13. Brienna Perelli-Harris, 2014. "How Similar are Cohabiting and Married Parents? Second Conception Risks by Union Type in the United States and Across Europe," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(4), pages 437-464, November.
    14. Francesca Fiori & Francesca Rinesi & Elspeth Graham, 2017. "Choosing to Remain Childless? A Comparative Study of Fertility Intentions Among Women and Men in Italy and Britain," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 33(3), pages 319-350, July.
    15. Bijlsma, Maarten J. & Wilson, Ben, 2020. "Modelling the socio-economic determinants of fertility: a mediation analysis using the parametric g-formula," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 102414, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    16. Maarten J. Bijlsma & Ben Wilson, 2017. "Modelling the socio-economic determinants of fertility: a mediation analysis using the parametric g-formula," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2017-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    17. Brienna Perelli-Harris & Michaela R. Kreyenfeld & Wendy Sigle-Rushton & Renske Keizer & Trude Lappegård & Aiva Jasilioniene & Caroline Berghammer & Paola Di Giulio & Katja Köppen, 2009. "The increase in fertility in cohabitation across Europe: examining the intersection between union status and childbearing," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sigle-Rushton, Wendy, 2008. "England and Wales: stable fertility and pronounced social status differences," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 31307, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Balestrino, Alessandro & Ciardi, Cinzia, 2008. "Social norms, cognitive dissonance and the timing of marriage," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2399-2410, December.
    3. Balestrino, Alessandro & Ciardi, Cinzia & Mammini, Claudio, 2013. "On the causes and consequences of divorce," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 1-9.
    4. Fisher, H., 2011. "Divorce Property Division and the Decision to Marry or Cohabit," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1101, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Marcantonio Caltabiano & Maria Castiglioni & Alessandro Rosina, 2009. "Lowest-Low Fertility: Signs of a recovery in Italy?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(23), pages 681-718.
    6. Rebecca Kippen & Bruce Chapman & Peng Yu, 2010. "What's love got to do with it? Homogamy and dyadic approaches to understanding marital instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 631, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    7. Alessandro Cigno, 2011. "The Economics of Marriage," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 12(s1), pages 28-41, May.
    8. Langlais, Eric, 2009. "On unilateral divorce and the "selection of marriages" hypothesis," MPRA Paper 14368, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Delia Furtado & Miriam Marcén & Almudena Sevilla, 2013. "Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(3), pages 1013-1038, June.
    10. Peter T. Leeson & Joshua Pierson, 2016. "Prenups," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 367-400.
    11. Massimiliano Bratti, 2003. "Labour force participation and marital fertility of Italian women: The role of education," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 16(3), pages 525-554, August.
    12. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2009. "Breaks in the Breaks: A Time-Series Analysis of Divorce Rates," MPRA Paper 14851, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2012. "Unilateral divorce versus child custody and child support in the U.S," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 613-643.
    14. Cameron, Samuel, 2003. "The economic model of divorce: the neglected role of search and specific capital formation," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 303-316, July.
    15. Clark, Simon, 1999. "Law, Property, and Marital Dissolution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages 41-54, March.
    16. Almudena Sevilla-Sanz & Delia Furtado and Miriam Marcen, 2010. "Does Culture Affect Divorce Decisions? Evidence from European Immigrants in the US," Economics Series Working Papers 495, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    17. Simon Clark, 1998. "Property Rights and the Economics of Divorce," Edinburgh School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 18, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
    18. Sarah Hayford, 2009. "The evolution of fertility expectations over the life course," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(4), pages 765-783, November.
    19. González-Val, Rafael & Marcén, Miriam, 2010. "Unilateral Divorce vs. Child Custody and Child Support in the U.S," MPRA Paper 24695, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Bowles, Roger & Garoupa, Nuno, 2002. "Household dissolution, child care and divorce law," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 495-510, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fertility; England; Europe; Wales;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Editorial Office (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.demogr.mpg.de/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.