The differential influence of women´s residential district on the risk of entering first marriage and motherhood in Western Germany
Population and Environment, 25:1, 3–21 (2003)
This paper investigates the role of women´s residential district in the process of family formation in Western Germany during the 1980s and 1990s. Our analysis of the transition to first marriage and motherhood is based on the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), which we merge with a rich set of district-level data. The estimated multilevel discrete-time logit models suggest that (1) basically all regional heterogeneity in women´s entry into parenthood is due to differences in the respondents´ marital status, while there is (2) a constant and significant regional variation in women´s first marriage probabilities, which cannot be explained by population composition or by structural contextual effects. Thus, regional influences on fertility behavior do not have an autonomous quality, but are merely mediated through a latent contextual effect on women´s risk of entering first marriage, which we attribute to regional socio-cultural milieus.
Keywords: Germany, family formation, multivariate analysis