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Regional Social Contexts and Individual Fertility Decisions: A Multilevel Analysis of First and Second Births in Western Germany

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  • Karsten Hank

Abstract

This paper investigates whether and how regional social contexts influence fertility decisions of women living in western Germany during the 1980s and 1990s. It is argued that regional opportunity structures as well as local patterns of social interaction and culture may translate into parameters that directly affect individual behaviour. Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) are linked with a set of regional indicators to estimate multilevel discrete-time logit models for the transition to the first and second child. The empirical analysis provides no evidence that fertility differentials observed at the regional level are due to autonomous contextual effects. It is rather suggested that most of the observed regional variation results from differences in the spatial distribution of individual characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Karsten Hank, 2002. "Regional Social Contexts and Individual Fertility Decisions: A Multilevel Analysis of First and Second Births in Western Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 270, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp270
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francesco C. Billari & Riccardo Borgoni, 2001. "Spatial profiles in the analysis of event histories: an application to first sexual intercourse in Italy," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-025, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2000. "Does the availability of childcare influence the employment of mothers? Findings from western Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. De Cooman, Eric & Ermisch, John F & Joshi, Heather, 1985. "The Next Birth and the Labour Market: A Dynamic Model of Births in England and Wales," CEPR Discussion Papers 37, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    5. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2001. "Childcare and fertility in (western) Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-019, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Evans, William N & Oates, Wallace E & Schwab, Robert M, 1992. "Measuring Peer Group Effects: A Study of Teenage Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(5), pages 966-991, October.
    7. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1998_10n1_0071 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Donna Ginther & Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 2000. "Neighborhood Attributes as Determinants of Children's Outcomes: How Robust Are the Relationships?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 603-642.
    9. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mohamed Amara, 2015. "Multilevel Modelling of Individual Fertility Decisions in Tunisia: Household and Regional Contextual Effects," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 124(2), pages 477-499, November.
    2. Jonas Wood & Sebastian Klüsener & Karel Neels & Mikko Myrskylä, 2017. "Is a positive link between human development and fertility attainable? Insights from the Belgian vanguard case," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2017-014, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    3. Martin Werding & Sonja Munz & Vera Gács, 2008. "Fertility and prosperity : links between demography and economic growth," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 42, October.
    4. REINSTADLER Anne, 2011. "Luxembourg and France: Comparable Family Benefits, Comparable Fertility Levels?," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-65, LISER.
    5. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2002. "A Multilevel Analysis of Child Care and the Transition to Motherhood in Western Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 290, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Karsten Hank, 2002. "The geographic context of male nuptiality in western Germany during the 1980s and 1990s," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 7(15), pages 523-536, October.
    7. Karsten Hank, 2003. "Räumlicher Kontext und das Heiratsverhalten westdeutscher Männer in den 1980er und 1990er Jahren," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. Johan Dahlberg, 2015. "Social Background and Becoming a Parent in Sweden: A Register-Based Study of the Effect of Social Background on Childbearing in Sweden," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 31(4), pages 417-444, October.
    9. Bernhard, Sarah & Kurz, Karin, 2007. "Familie und Arbeitsmarkt : eine Längsschnittstudie zum Einfluss beruflicher Unsicherheiten auf die Familienerweiterung," IAB Discussion Paper 200710, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    10. Joop Beer & Ingeborg Deerenberg, 2007. "An Explanatory Model for Projecting Regional Fertility Differences in the Netherlands," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(5), pages 511-528, December.
    11. Tumen, Semih, 2012. "Fertility decisions and endogenous residential sorting," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 78-87.
    12. Thomas A. DiPrete & S. Philip Morgan & Henriette Engelhardt & Hana Pacalova, 2003. "Do Cross-National Differences in the Costs of Children Generate Cross-National Differences in Fertility Rates?," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 355, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Johannes Huinink & Martin Kohli, 2014. "A life-course approach to fertility," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(45), pages 1293-1326, April.
    14. Alexia Prskawetz & Barbara Zagaglia, 2005. "Second Births in Austria," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 3(1), pages 143-170.
    15. Silvia Meggiolaro, 2011. "Do Neighbourhoods Have an Influence on Reproductive Intentions? Empirical Evidence from Milan," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(6), pages 791-807.
    16. Gerda R. Neyer, 2003. "Family policies and low fertility in Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    17. Suzana Koelet & Helga A.G. De Valk & Ignace Glorieux & Ilse Laurijssen & Didier Willaert, 2015. "The timing of family commitments in the early work career," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 32(22), pages 657-690, March.
    18. Heinrich Hock & Delia Furtado, 2009. "Female Work and Fertility in the United States: Effects of Low-Skilled Immigrant Labor," Working papers 2009-20, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    19. Gunnar Andersson & Ann-Zofie Duvander & Karsten Hank, 2003. "Do child care characteristics influence continued childbearing in Sweden? An investigation of the quantity, quality, and price dimension," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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    Keywords

    multilevel analysis; fertility; Germany;

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