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Out-of-Partnership Births in East and West Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Jirjahn, Uwe
  • Struewing, Cornelia

Abstract

Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), we show that single women in East Germany are significantly more likely to give birth to a child than single women in West Germany. This applies to both planned and unplanned births. Our analysis provides no evidence that the difference between East and West Germany can be explained by economic factors or the higher availability of child care in East Germany. This suggests that the difference in out-of-partnership births is rather driven by behavioral and cultural differences. However, these behavioral and cultural differences do not only reflect different gender role models that evolved under the former communist regime in East Germany and the democratic one in West Germany. Partly, they also reflect a long historical divide that predates the 1945 separation of Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Jirjahn, Uwe & Struewing, Cornelia, 2019. "Out-of-Partnership Births in East and West Germany," GLO Discussion Paper Series 337, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:glodps:337
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/194353/1/GLO-DP-0337.pdf
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    Keywords

    Unpartnered birth; gender role models; culture; East Germany; West Germany; politico-economic systems;

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General

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