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 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (April 2002)
Open Access


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.
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.