The impact of union formation dynamics on first births in West Germany and Italy: are there signs of convergence?
In this paper we investigate the changing impact of union formation on the transition to parenthood in West Germany and Italy using FFS data. We first draw attention to overall cohort patterns in union formation and first births and then describe the mutual relationships between union formation, first marriage, and first births. On the basis of event-history models, we then evaluate the impact of union formation behaviour on the transition to motherhood. In particular, we test whether the impact of union status has been changing for younger and older cohorts, thereby investigating whether the heterogeneous spread of non-marital childbearing is gaining relevance as we would expect from the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition. The findings from these analyses allow us to conclude that demographic behaviour is not converging from a cohort perspective. (AUTHORS)