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

Author

Listed:
  • Karsten Hank

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

Abstract

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)

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Hank, 2001. "Regional social contexts and individual fertility decisions: a multilevel analysis of first and second births in Western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-015, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2001-015
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/Papers/Working/wp-2001-015.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    2. 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 966-991, October.
    3. 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.
    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. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1998_10n1_0071 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. 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.
    7. 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 334-338, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Iyer, S. & Weeks, M., 2004. "Multiple Social Interaction and Reproductive Externalities: An Investigation of Fertility Behaviour in Kenya," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0461, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    2. Iyer, S. & Weeks, M., 2009. "Social Interactions, Ethnicity and Fertility in Kenya," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0903, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    3. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2001. "Childcare and fertility in (western) Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-019, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany (Alte Bundesländer); fertility; geography;

    JEL classification:

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

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