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The fertility behaviour of East to West German migrants

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  • Anja Vatterrott

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

Abstract

In the twenty years since the reunification of Germany, we have seen a convergence of total fertility rates in the eastern and western parts of the country, but differences remain in the timing, number and spacing of births. Our aim in this paper is to better understand the persistence of these differences by studying the fertility behaviour of migrants from the East to the West. Millions of people have followed this migration path in recent decades, mainly in response to the unfavourable economic conditions in the East. We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel of the years 1990 to 2009. Using event history modelling, we analyse whether the first and second birth behaviours of female East-West German migrants resemble the patterns of one of the non-mobile populations in the eastern or western parts of the country. We find that migrants’ first and second birth risks lie in between those of non-mobile eastern and western Germans. Socio-economic characteristics, value orientations and partners’ characteristics are employed as explanatory variables, but do not fully account for the differences between the three groups. We investigate whether the special behavioural patterns of migrants can be explained by the fact that they are a selected group, but do not find support for this hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Anja Vatterrott, 2011. "The fertility behaviour of East to West German migrants," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2011-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2011-013
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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2011-013.pdf
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    1. Tomas Frejka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 5: Determinants of family formation and childbearing during the societal transition in Central and Eastern Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(7), pages 139-170, July.
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    3. Gunnar Andersson & Kirk Scott, 2007. "Childbearing dynamics of couples in a universalistic welfare state: the role of labor-market status, country of origin, and gender," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2007-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    4. Nadja Milewski, 2007. "First child of immigrant workers and their descendants in West Germany," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(29), pages 859-896, December.
    5. Hill Kulu, 2004. "Fertility of internal migrants: comparison between Austria and Poland," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-022, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Eleonora Mussino & Alyson A. van Raalte, 2008. "Fertility of migrants: a comparative study between Italy and Russia," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2008-026, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Wolfgang Seifert, 1997. "Integration of 'Old' and 'New' Immigrant Groups in Germany," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 66(1), pages 159-168.
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    9. Tomáš Sobotka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 7: The rising importance of migrants for childbearing in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(9), pages 225-248, July.
    10. Frank W. Heiland, 2004. "Trends in East-West German Migration from 1989 to 2002," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 11(7), pages 173-194, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michaela Kreyenfeld & Anja Vatterrott, 2013. "Geschlechtsspezifische Arbeitsmarktsegregation und Geburtenverhalten: neue Befunde auf Basis der „Biografiedaten ausgewählter Sozialversicherungsträger in Deutschland“ (BASiD)," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-009, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Anja Vatterrott, 2015. "Socialisation or Institutional Context: What Determines the First and Second Birth Behaviour of East–West German Migrants?," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 383-415, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Germany; fertility; internal migration;

    JEL classification:

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

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