The Effect of First Birth Postponement on Second Birth Rates across Europe

Joanna Rozanska, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Jan Van Bavel, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

In recent decades, tempo effects have played a major role in fertility trends: the emergence of very low period fertility levels has primarily been caused by the postponement of first births. Yet, there are clearly tempo-quantum interactions: the tempo shift affects parity progression rates after the first birth, but not to the same extent in all social groups and all regions of Europe. Differences in tempo-quantum interactions are likely to be an important factor behind the divergence of fertility levels within Europe. The nature of these interactions is the major focus of this paper. How does the postponement of first births affect second birth rates in different social groups and countries and regions of Europe? We use data from the European Social Survey to address this research question. Preliminary results indicate that postponement effects are mediated by both his and her level of education, and by welfare state provisions.

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Presented in Session 154: Cross-National Patterns of Fertility