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Crisis or adaptation reconsidered: a comparison of East and West German fertility patterns in the first six years after the ´Wende´

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  • Michaela Kreyenfeld

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

Abstract

Similar to other Eastern European countries, East Germany experienced a rapid decline in period fertility rates after the fall of communism. This decline has been discussed along the lines of a ´crisis´ and a ´adaptation´ to western demographic patterns. The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we discuss the factors which foster and hamper a convergence of fertility behavior in East and West Germany. Secondly, we use data from the German micro-census to analyze the fertility patterns of the cohorts born 1961-1970. Major results from our empirical analysis are that East Germans who are still childless at unification are more rapid to have their first child in the subsequent years than comparable West Germans. However, regarding second parity births, the pattern reverses. Here, East Germans display a lower transition rate than their counterparts in the West.

Suggested Citation

  • Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2002. "Crisis or adaptation reconsidered: a comparison of East and West German fertility patterns in the first six years after the ´Wende´," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-032, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2002-032
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2002-032.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Dimiter Philipov, 2002. "Fertility in times of discontinuous societal change: the case of Central and Eastern Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-024, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Hans-Peter Kohler & Dimiter Philipov, 2001. "Variance effects in the bongaarts-feeney formula," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 1-16, February.
    4. Tomas Frejka & Gérard Calot, 2001. "Cohort Reproductive Patterns in Low-Fertility Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 103-132.
    5. Thomas Lange & Geoffrey Pugh, 1998. "The Economics of German Unification," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 794.
    6. Magdalena Joos, 1995. "East Joins West: Child welfare and market reforms in the 'special case' of the former GDR," Papers iopeps95/18, Innocenti Occasional Papers, Economic Policy Series.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hank, Karsten & Kreyenfeld, Michaela & Spieß, Christa Katharina, 2004. "Kinderbetreuung und Fertilität in Deutschland," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 228-244.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; fertility;

    JEL classification:

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

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