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AVOIR UN ENFANT PLUS TARD Enjeux sociodémographiques du report des naissances

Listed author(s):
  • Hippolyte D'Albis

    ()

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Angela Greulich

    ()

    (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Grégory Ponthière

    (PSE - Paris School of Economics)

Les évolutions de la natalité sont le plus souvent mesurées à l’aune d’un seul indicateur, le nombre d’enfants par femme. Pourtant, le calendrier des naissances, c’est-à-dire les âges auxquels une mère donne naissance à ses enfants, éclaire utilement de nombreuses questions économiques et sociales. En particulier, l’âge de la maternité se révèle un marqueur social, car il s’accroît avec les niveaux d’éducation et de revenus des parents. Et parmi les personnes ayant le moins de perspectives sociales, on trouve souvent les femmes ayant eu un enfant très jeunes. L’âge de la maternité est également associé à la plupart des décisions importantes qui rythment la vie d’un couple, comme le choix du nombre d’enfants, bien sûr, mais aussi la durée des études et la participation des mères sur le marché du travail. Le calendrier des naissances ne peut donc être étudié qu’en lien étroit avec les décisions et les circonstances qui gouvernent le début de la vie adulte. Il s’agit tout d’abord de resituer historiquement l’évolution du report des naissances. Les exemples français et allemands montrent que les cohortes précédant celles des babyboomers ont eu tendance à avoir des enfants plus tôt. De même, l’évolution de l’âge de la maternité n’est pas systématiquement en phase avec celle de la fécondité : une analyse étendue à l’ensemble des pays d’Europe indique que, contrairement à ce qu’on pourrait croire, le report des naissances ne s’accompagne pas, en général, d’une baisse de la fécondité. L’impact de ce report varie significativement entre les pays, en fonction notamment du degré de couverture offert en termes de garde d’enfants et de crèches. C’est dans les pays les moins couverts à cet égard que le report des naissances est associé à la plus forte baisse de la fécondité. Le report des naissances observé en Europe ces dernières décennies constitue-t-il une bonne ou une mauvaise nouvelle pour nos sociétés ? Traduit-il un plus large accès des femmes aux études supérieures et, partant, contribue-t-il à leur épanouissement ? Ou, au contraire, le report des naissances témoigne-t-il de la plus grande difficulté des jeunes à s’insérer aujourd’hui sur le marché du travail et d’une précarité de leur situation professionnelle (CDD, intérims, stages, etc.) qui les conduiraient à un report forcé des naissances ? Cet opuscule vise à apporter des réponses à ces questions en étudiant les déterminants économiques du calendrier des naissances au sein de vingt-huit pays européens, une attention particulière étant portée à la comparaison entre l’Allemagne et la France. Ces analyses montrent que les deux facteurs évoqués plus haut – la durée des études et la précarisation professionnelle – sont associés à des naissances plus tardives. Le report des naissances reflète donc, assez paradoxalement, deux tendances bien distinctes : il n’est ni une bonne ni une mauvaise nouvelle, mais simplement le reflet des mutations sociales et économiques de notre époque. L’évolution du calendrier des naissances permet ainsi de lire certaines dynamiques sociales, économiques et démographiques à l’oeuvre dans les sociétés européennes. L’évolution du calendrier des naissances pose, inévitablement, la question des contours optimaux des politiques publiques. Au vu des impacts différenciés d’un ensemble varié de politiques de la famille, en termes de nombre et de calendrier des naissances, les auteurs concluent qu’une bonne politique de la famille ne devrait pas, idéalement, exercer des effets désincitatifs à la poursuite des études, et devrait plutôt faciliter, pour tous les jeunes adultes, une meilleure conciliation de la vie professionnelle et de la vie familiale.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) with number hal-01298929.

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Date of creation: 13 Nov 2015
Publication status: Published in 2015, 978-2-7288-0542-6
Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:hal-01298929
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01298929
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/

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