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MPIDR Working Paper

To concentration of reproduction in cohorts of US and European women

Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M., Houle, R., Vaupel, J. W.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2004-027, 30 pages (October 2004).
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Keywords: Europe, USA, fertility measurements, fertility schedules, Gini index

Abstract

We study inter-individual variability in number of children among women. Concentration ratio (CR) and percentile measures are used. In most countries CR has increasing from cohorts of the 1930s-40s onward due to rise in childlessness. In cohorts of the early 1960s CR varies from 0.24 to 0.46 among 20 countries. West Germany and the USA have the lowest values of CR, while Eastern European countries have the highest. The US CPS and FFS allow further exploring the variability. Fertility strongly varies across socio-demographic groups. Advanced groups of women experience childlessness of 30%, average fertility of 1.3-1.5 and CR of 0.45-0.49. Groups with lower qualification experience childlessness of 10 percent, average fertility of 2.4-3.0, and CR of 0.30-0.34. The inter-group contrast can not explain high concentration of reproduction in the USA, since variability is high within each group. Concentration of reproduction could be driven by women’s preferences/orientations toward family vs. career.

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