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MPIDR Working Paper

Bearing children in unstable times: psychological traits and early parenthood in a lowest-low fertility context, Rostock 1990 - 1995

von der Lippe, H., Billari, F. C., Reis, O.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2002-014, 38 Seiten (April 2002).
Rostock, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze a unique longitudinal data set from Rostock in Eastern Germany. Data collection began in the communist era and has been followed up until today. Employing proportional-hazard models, we use psychological individual-level measures (such as personality traits, social and cognitive resources, coping styles, etc.) at age 20 as determinants of the subjects´ subsequent transition rate to parenthood. We find strong evidence to support the notion that psychological factors function as proximate determinants of differential fertility. We conclude that psychological individual-level data are important in understanding patterns, especially during times when society faces massive and incalculable upheavals.

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