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Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe

  • Francesco C. Billari

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

  • Hans-Peter Kohler

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

In this paper we conduct descriptive aggregate analyses to revisit the relation between low and lowest-low period fertility on the one, and cohort fertility and key fertility-related behaviors---such as leaving the parental home, marriage and female labor force participation---on the other side. First, we identify a systematic pattern of lowest-low fertility that is characterized by a rapid delay of childbearing, a low progression probability after the first child (but not particularly low levels of first-birth childbearing), and a ``falling behind´´ in cohort fertility at relatively late ages. Second, our analyses show that the cross-country correlations in Europe between the total fertility level on the one side, and the total first marriage rate, the proportion of extramarital births and the female labor force participation rate on the other side have reversed during the period from 1975 to 1999. At the end of the 1990s there is also no longer evidence that divorce levels are negatively associated with fertility levels. Based on these analyses we conclude that the emergence of lowest-low fertility during the 1990s has been accompanied by a disruption or even a reversal of many well-known patterns that have been used to explain cross-country differences in fertility patterns.

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File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2002-040.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-2002-040.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2002-040
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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  1. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Studies on the Spanish Economy 13, FEDEA.
  2. Bettio, Francesca & Villa, Paola, 1998. "A Mediterranean Perspective on the Breakdown of the Relationship between Participation and Fertility," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 137-71, March.
  3. 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.
  4. Annette Kohlmann & Sergej M. Zuev, 2001. "Patterns of childbearing in Russia 1994 - 1998," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-018, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  5. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
  6. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  7. Tomas Frejka & Gerard Calot, 2001. "Cohort Reproductive Patterns in the Nordic Countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 5(5), pages 125-186, November.
  8. repec:cai:popine:popu_p2001_56n3_0420 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Tomas Kögel, 2004. "Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 45-65, February.
  10. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2001. "Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244591, March.
  11. Hans-Peter Kohler & Jere R. Behrman & Susan Cotts Watkins, 1999. "The structure of social networks and fertility decisions: evidence from S. Nyanza District, Kenya," MPIDR Working Papers WP-1999-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  12. Francesco C. Billari & Chris Wilson, 2001. "Convergence towards diversity? Cohort dynamics in the transition to adulthood in contemporary Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-039, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  13. Francesco C. Billari & Piero Manfredi & Alessandro Valentini, 1999. "Macro-demographic effects of the transition to adulthood: multistate stable population theory and an application to Italy," MPIDR Working Papers WP-1999-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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