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Transition of nuptiality and fertility onset in the Czech Republic since the 1990s: the role of women’s education and its expansion

  • Kryštof Zeman

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

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    In this article we argue that social and economic changes in the past fifteen years have influenced distinct socio-economic categories of women differently. We show that the transition of family formation behaviours was not uniform but rather dependent on the educational level of women. We found wide differences between educational categories in terms of the changes in level, timing and sequencing of first birth and first marriage, using the techniques of nuptiality and fertility life tables and the hazard modelling of first marriage and first conception. Two different types of “trendsetters” were identified in Czech society. The trendsetters of non-marital fertility are women with primary education, who tend to be lone mothers or to cohabit even after childbirth. The second group of trendsetters are more highly educated women, who postpone their fertility onset until their 30s, but who still place their first childbirth traditionally inside marriage. The number of possible reasons for the family formation transition is manifold, ranging from the changing economic roles of women through actual setting of family policy to the post-modern value change, all further reinforced by educational expansion since the 1990s. There is no general explanation of the transitional behaviour, as women of different education levels are reacting differently to the social and economic changes.

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    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2007-017.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2007-017
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    1. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
    2. Klasen, Stephan & Launov, Andrey, 2003. "Analysis of the Determinants of Fertility Decline in the Czech Republic," IZA Discussion Papers 870, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. FFF1Øystein NNN1Kravdal, 2004. "An Illustration of the Problems Caused by Incomplete Education Histories in Fertility Analyses," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(6), pages 135-154, April.
    4. Dirk Konietzka & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2001. "Non-marital births in East Germany after unification," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-027, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Jan M. Hoem & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(17), pages 485-498, November.
    6. Jan M. Hoem & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2006. "Anticipatory analysis and its alternatives in life-course research," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 15(16), pages 461-484, November.
    7. Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Educational attainment and first births: East Germany before and after unification," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-011, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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