Determinants of second birth risks in Great Britain and West Germany

Michaela Kreyenfeld, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Cordula D. Zabel, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

In this paper, we examine the demographic and socio-economic factors involved in determining risks of transition to the 2nd child in Great Britain and western Germany, using the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) and the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS). Risks of transition to the 2nd child are higher for university-educated women in both countries. We examine to what extent this is due to factors common to both countries. These are later ages at first birth, resulting in a perceived time-squeeze, as well as self-selection of especially family-oriented women into the group of mothers of one child. We find that effects of other factors differ between the two countries. The partner’s characteristics are more important for decisions to have a 2nd child in western Germany, presumably due to stronger orientation towards the male-breadwinner model of the family. Characteristics of the woman’s work situation are more important in Great Britain.

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Presented in Session 20: Fertility employment and the labour market