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Postponement and childlessness - Evidence from two British cohorts

Author

Listed:
  • Dylan Kneale

    (University College London (UCL))

  • Heather Joshi

    (University of London)

Abstract

This paper starts by reviewing existing projections of childlessness among British men and women. Low current fertility implies high eventual childlessness unless the postponement of parenthood is taken into account. Such re-timing of first births appears to be occurring differentially across social groups. Exploiting the disaggregated evidence of two British cohort studies, the 1958 National Child Development Study and the 1970 British Cohort Survey, this paper investigates the extent of postponement across cohorts and projects its impact on eventual levels of childlessness. Men and women are considered separately in our models of a population stratified by educational attainment. We find the most striking postponement occurring among graduate men. Among graduate women, after taking family building intentions into account, we estimate that about a quarter of 1970 born graduate women will remain childless, rather than something nearer 40 per cent as had been conjectured elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

  • Dylan Kneale & Heather Joshi, 2008. "Postponement and childlessness - Evidence from two British cohorts," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(58), pages 1935-1968, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:58
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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol19/58/19-58.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ron Lesthaeghe & Paul Willems, 1999. "Is Low Fertility a Temporary Phenomenon in the European Union?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 211-228.
    2. Cheti Nicoletti & Franco Peracchi, 2005. "Survey response and survey characteristics: microlevel evidence from the European Community Household Panel," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(4), pages 763-781.
    3. Anita Ratcliffe & Sarah Smith, 2006. "Fertility and Women’s Education in the UK: A Cohort Analysis," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/165, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    4. Michael Rendall & Lynda Clarke & H. Peters & Nalini Ranjit & Georgia Verropoulou, 1999. "Incomplete reporting of men’s fertility in the united states and britain: A research note," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 36(1), pages 135-144, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christos Bagavos, 2010. "Education and childlessness: the relationship between educational field, educational level, employment and childlessness among Greek women born in 1955-1959," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 8(1), pages 51-75.
    2. Juliet Stone & Ann Berrington & Jane Falkingham, 2014. "Gender, Turning Points, and Boomerangs: Returning Home in Young Adulthood in Great Britain," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(1), pages 257-276, February.
    3. Dylan Kneale & Ruth Lupton, 2010. "Are there neighbourhood effects on teenage parenthood in the UK, and does it matter for policy? A review of theory and evidence," CASE Papers case141, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    4. Ursula Henz, 2014. "Long-term trends of men’s co-residence with children in England and Wales," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(23), pages 671-702, March.
    5. Maarten J. Bijlsma & Ben Wilson, 2017. "A new approach to understanding the socio-economic determinants of fertility over the life course," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2017-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Schober, Pia S., 2013. "Gender Equality and Outsourcing of Domestic Work, Childbearing, and Relationship Stability Among British Couples," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 25-52.
    7. 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, November.
    8. Ann Berrington & Juliet Stone & Éva 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, October.
    9. Teresa Martín-García, 2009. "The effect of education on women's propensity to be childless in Spain: Does the field of education matter?," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 114, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    10. Máire Ní Bhrolcháin & Éva Beaujouan, 2011. "Uncertainty in fertility intentions in Britain, 1979-2007," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 9(1), pages 99-129.
    11. Gunnar Andersson & Marit Rønsen & Lisbeth B. Knudsen & Trude Lappegård & Gerda Neyer & Kari Skrede & Kathrin Teschner & Andres Vikat, 2009. "Cohort fertility patterns in the Nordic countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 20(14), pages 313-352, April.
    12. repec:spr:eurpop:v:33:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10680-016-9404-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Paul Mathews & Rebecca Sear, 2013. "Does the kin orientation of a British woman’s social network influence her entry into motherhood?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 28(11), pages 313-340, February.
    14. Jessica Nisén & Pekka Martikainen & Karri Silventoinen & Mikko Myrskylä, 2014. "Age-specific fertility by educational level in the Finnish male cohort born 1940‒1950," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(5), pages 119-136, July.
    15. Concetta Rondinelli & Arnstein Aassve & Francesco Billari, 2010. "Women´s wages and childbearing decisions: Evidence from Italy," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 22(19), pages 549-578, April.
    16. Francis T. Lui, 2010. "Demographic Transition, Childless Families, and Economic Growth," NBER Chapters,in: The Economic Consequences of Demographic Change in East Asia, NBER-EASE Volume 19, pages 351-373 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Juliet Stone & Ann Berrington & Jane Falkingham, 2011. "The changing determinants of UK young adults' living arrangements," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 25(20), pages 629-666, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    childlessness; event history; fertility; graduate women; intentions; parenthood; postponement;

    JEL classification:

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

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