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Regional social contexts and individual fertility decisions: a multilevel analysis of first and second births in Western Germany

  • Karsten Hank

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    In this paper, a multilevel approach is used to investigate whether and how regional social contexts influence first and second birth probabilities of women living in western Germany during the 1980s and 1990s. In the theoretical part it is argued that regional opportunity structures as well as local patterns of social interaction and culture may translate into parameters that directly affect individual behaviour. Individual level data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) are then linked with a set of regional indicators to estimate multilevel discrete-time logit models for the transition to the first and second child. The empirical analysis provides no evidence that the distinct fertility differences observed at the regional level are due to autonomous contextual effects. It is rather suggested that most of the observed regional variation may be due to differences in the spatial distribution of individual characteristics. (AUTHOR)

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/Papers/Working/wp-2001-015.pdf
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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2001-015.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2001-015
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
    3. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-38, May.
    4. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2000. "The impact of union formation dynamics on first births in West Germany and Italy: are there signs of convergence?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-008, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Donna Ginther & Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 2000. "Neighborhood Attributes as Determinants of Children's Outcomes: How Robust Are the Relationships?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 603-642.
    6. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1998_10n1_0071 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-91, October.
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