Fertility differences by housing type: the effect of housing conditions or of selective moves?
Demographic Research, 17:26, 775–802 (2007)
This study examines fertility variation across housing types and childbearing patterns after housing changes. While the effect of family changes on housing choices has been studied in detail, little is known about childbearing patterns within various housing types, despite the fact that many studies suggest housing as an important determinant of fertility. We use longitudinal register data from Finland and apply hazard regression. Firstly, we observe a significant variation in the fertility levels across housing types - fertility is highest among couples in single-family houses and lowest among those in apartments, with the variation remaining significant even after controlling for the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of women. Secondly, our results show elevated fertility levels after couples have changed their housing, suggesting that much of the fertility variation across housing types could be attributed to selective moves. Thirdly, the study also reveals relatively a high risk of third birth for couples in single-family houses several years after the move, suggesting that living in spacious housing and in a family-friendly environment for a longer time may lead to higher fertility.
Keywords: Finland, event history analysis, fertility, housing