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Biographical risks and their impact on uncertainty in fertility expectations: A gender-specific study based on the German Family Panel

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  • Kuhnt, Anne-Kristin
  • Buhr, Petra

Abstract

This paper studies uncertainty in fertility expectations from a life course perspective. Our research hypotheses are theoretically based on Life Course Theory and the Theory of Planned Behavior. We assume that biographical risks, inferred from separation from partner, unemployment or changes in parity, lead to uncertainty in women's and men's fertility expectations. We also assume gender-specific differences regarding the effect of these risks, because the life courses of women and men still differ substantially regarding paid and domestic work. Data come from waves 1-6 of the German Family Panel. We apply fixed effects multinomial logit models. Our findings confirm that uncertainty in fertility intentions is of relevant prevalence in our sample and is not stable over the life course. In accordance with our hypotheses, uncertainty is connected with changes in partnership status, employment status, and parity of children. Furthermore, gender-specific differences emerge. While separation is stronger associated with uncertainty for men than for women, unemployment is more strongly associated with uncertainty among women. However, our findings provide no support for gender-specific differences regarding an increase in uncertainty after the transition to first birth.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuhnt, Anne-Kristin & Buhr, Petra, 2016. "Biographical risks and their impact on uncertainty in fertility expectations: A gender-specific study based on the German Family Panel," Duisburger Beiträge zur soziologischen Forschung 2016-03, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Sociology.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:udesoz:201603
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    References listed on IDEAS

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