Non-marital births in East Germany after unification
In comparison to other European countries, West Germany displays relatively low rates of non-marital childbearing. Since the 1960, there has been a postponement of first birth, an increase in the age at first marriage and an increase in childlessness. Nevertheless, childbearing and marriage remained strongly coupled. In the former East Germany, on the other hand, non-marital childbearing was relatively high compared to other European countries and particularly compared to West Germany. In 1989, the ratio of non-marital births had reached 33 percent. Overwhelmingly, researchers blamed GDR policies for high non-marital birth rates. However, after the breakdown of the GDR regime, the high East German non-marital birth rates did not rebound to West German levels but they sky-rocked, reaching 50 percent in 1999. Using data from the German micro-census of the year 1997, we investigate the hypothesis that high nonmarital births reflect a high labor market orientation among East German women with children. Our empirical results reveal two different patterns in East and West Germany. While in the West a high labor market orientation is indeed related to lower marriage risks, we find the reversed pattern in East Germany. East German women with a college degree and/ or women who have a relatively higher educational attainment than their male partners are more likely to get married when they have children.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- R. Raley, 2001. "Increasing fertility in cohabiting unions: evidence for the second demographic transition in the united states?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 59-66, February.
- Witte, James C. & Wagner, Gert G., 1995. "Declining Fertility in East Germany After Unification: A Demographic Response to Socioeconomic Change," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 387-397.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2001-027. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Wilhelm)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.