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Spatial aspects of the rise of nonmarital fertility across Europe since 1960: the role of states and regions in shaping patterns of change

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  • Sebastian Klüsener

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

  • Brienna Perelli-Harris

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

  • Nora E. Sánchez Gassen

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

Abstract

This paper investigates the role of states and regions in shaping spatial patterns of non-marital fertility in Europe since 1960 using a dataset of 497 European subnational regions and smaller countries. Almost all regions registered substantial nonmarital fertility increases over the last 50 years. Prior research by Watkins (1991) has shown that in the first half of the 20th century states played a dominant role in drawing the demographic map of Europe. As a result, subnational regional variation decreased, while differences between countries increased. In this paper, we investigate whether states continue to play such a dominant role in delineating patterns of nonmarital fertility between 1960 and 2007. We find that variation in nonmarital fertility levels increased as a whole across Europe, and states continued to be important for determining these patterns. However, the role of states relative to regions declined in the latest period examined (1990 and 2007). Possible explanations for the changes include increased supranational integration, for example within the European Union, and decentralisation within states leading to increases in variation in subnational contextual conditions.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Klüsener & Brienna Perelli-Harris & Nora E. Sánchez Gassen, 2012. "Spatial aspects of the rise of nonmarital fertility across Europe since 1960: the role of states and regions in shaping patterns of change," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2012-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2012-005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ron J. Lesthaeghe & Lisa Neidert, 2006. "The Second Demographic Transition in the United States: Exception or Textbook Example?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(4), pages 669-698.
    2. Ron Lesthaeghe, 2010. "The Unfolding Story of the Second Demographic Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 36(2), pages 211-251.
    3. Buti,Marco & Deroose,Servaas & Gaspar,Vitor & Martins,João Nogueira (ed.), 2010. "The Euro," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9789279098420, April.
    4. Brienna Perelli-Harris & Nora E. Sánchez Gassen, 2010. "The reciprocal relationship between the state and union formation across Western Europe: policy dimensions and theoretical considerations," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2010-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Agnese Vitali & Arnstein Aassve & Trude Lappegård, 2015. "Diffusion of Childbearing Within Cohabitation," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(2), pages 355-377, April.
    2. Christine Schnor, 2014. "The Effect of Union Status at First Childbirth on Union Stability: Evidence from Eastern and Western Germany," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 129-160, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Europe; fertility; geography; nuptiality; spatial analysis;

    JEL classification:

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

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