Fertility Timing Within Marriage: Are Changing Contexts Associated with Changing Dynamics?

Tara L. Becker, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Jessica Jakubowski, University of Wisconsin at Madison

The relationship between marriage and fertility in the U.S. has changed drastically since the 20th century baby boom as fertility rates have become increasingly delinked from marriage. This study seeks to fill a gap in the literature on marriage and fertility by providing information regarding how the timing of marital fertility has changed during the past 40 years. Using data from the 1969-2005 waves of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we use a variety of survival analysis methods to follow the fertility behavior of new marriages to determine whether changes have occurred in the timing of births within marriage. Preliminary results show that childbearing has increasingly been delayed within marriage since the late1960s, but only among marriages in which no children from before the marriage reside. In addition, rates of childlessness among couples with no previous children nearly doubled between the 1969-1973 and 1984-1988 marriage cohorts.

  See paper

Presented in Session 22: Fertility Timing and Transitions