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Second birth rates across Europe: interactions between women’s level of education and child care enrolment

  • Jan Van Bavel
  • Joanna Rózanska-Putek

Fertility differences in Europe are to a large extent due to parity progression after the first child. We therefore use data from the third round of the European Social Survey to investigate second-birth rates in 23 countries. Focusing on the role of education level and child care availability, we argue that child care provision is an important determinant of the opportunity cost of parity progression, particularly for highly educated women. We find that in countries where the highly educated have lower second birth rates than the less educated, total fertility tends to be low, and vice versa. In addition, the effect of the timing of the first child appears to be mediated by education level and child care availability: in countries where large proportions of young children attend formal child care, the more highly educated exhibit much higher second-birth rates, while child care availability does not affect parity progression for the less educated.

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Article provided by Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna in its journal Vienna Yearbook of Population Research.

Volume (Year): 8 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 107-138

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Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:8:y:2010:i:1:p:107-138
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.oeaw.ac.at/vid/

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  1. Berna Miller Torr & Susan E. Short, 2004. "Second Births and the Second Shift: A Research Note on Gender Equity and Fertility," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(1), pages 109-130.
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  4. Jan M. Hoem, 2005. "Why does Sweden have such high fertility?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 13(22), pages 559-572, November.
  5. Øystein Kravdal, 2007. "Effects of current education on second- and third-birth rates among Norwegian women and men born in 1964: Substantive interpretations and methodological issues," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(9), pages 211-246, November.
  6. repec:cai:poeine:pope_601_0099 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Tarja K. Viitanen, 2005. "Cost of Childcare and Female Employment in the UK," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 19(s1), pages 149-170, December.
  8. Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & S. Morgan & Øystein Kravdal & Karen Guzzo, 2007. "Child care availability and first-birth timing in Norway," Demography, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 345-372, May.
  9. Irena E. Kotowska & Janina Jóźwiak & Anna Matysiak & Anna Baranowska-Rataj, 2008. "Poland: Fertility decline as a response to profound societal and labour market changes?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(22), pages 795-854, July.
  10. Anne Gauthier, 2007. "The impact of family policies on fertility in industrialized countries: a review of the literature," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 323-346, June.
  11. Jan M. Hoem, 2005. "Why does Sweden have such high fertility?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  12. FFF1Vladimíra NNN1Kantorová, 2004. "Education and Entry into Motherhood: The Czech Republic during State Socialism and the Transition Period (1970-1997)," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(10), pages 245-274, April.
  13. Melinda Mills & Katia Begall & Letizia Mencarini & Maria Letizia Tanturri, 2008. "Gender equity and fertility intentions in Italy and the Netherlands," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(1), pages 1-26, February.
  14. Danièle Meulders & Jérôme De Henau & Sile Padraigin O'Dorchai, 2007. "Making time for working parents: comparing public childcare provision," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/7708, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  15. 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.
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