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The timing and partnership context of becoming a parent


  • John Hobcraft

    (University of York)


This paper uses two British birth cohorts, born in 1958 and 1970. There are substantial inter-cohort shifts in timing and context of becoming a parent and gender differences in timing. We use common childhood measures for the two cohorts, pool the two data sets and fit common models. We then ask whether explicit terms for gender or for cohort are required. These can be an unexplained gender or cohort differential or specific differential pathways through measured childhood antecedents. There is considerable support for elements of a common model, but some interpretable gender and cohort terms are also necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • John Hobcraft, 2008. "The timing and partnership context of becoming a parent," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(34), pages 1281-1322, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:34

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arnstein Aassve & Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Matt Dickson, 2006. "Employment, family union and childbearing decisions in Great Britain," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(4), pages 781-804.
    2. 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.
    3. Pau Baizán Munoz & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco C. Billari, 2001. "Cohabitation, marriage, first birth: the interrelationship of family formation events in Spain," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-036, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. John Hobcraft, 2003. "Continuity and Change in Pathways to Young Adult Disadvantage: Results from a British Birth Cohort," CASE Papers case66, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    5. Schoon, Ingrid & Sacker, Amanda & Bartley, Mel, 2003. "Socio-economic adversity and psychosocial adjustment: a developmental-contextual perspective," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(6), pages 1001-1015, September.
    6. R. Raley, 2001. "Increasing fertility in cohabiting unions: evidence for the second demographic transition in the united states?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 59-66, February.
    7. Dawn Upchurch & Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 2002. "Nonmarital childbearing: Influences of education, marriage, and fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 311-329, May.
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    More about this item


    birth cohorts; childhood antecedents; gender; parenthood; partnership context;

    JEL classification:

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


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