MPIDR Working Paper

Childcare and fertility in (western) Germany

Hank, K., Kreyenfeld, M. R.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2001-019
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (July 2001)
Also published as: Modes of childcare and the difficult compatibility of childrearing and employment in (western) Germany. In: Familienpolitik und Familienstrukturen: gemeinsame Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Bevölkerungswissenschaft und der Johann-Peter-Süßmilch-Gesellschaft für Demographie, Berlin, 21.-23. Juni 2001 (Materialien zur Bevölkerungswissenschaft ; 108), (Ed.) Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung (BiB): Wiesbaden 2003, 95-108.
Open Access


This paper analyzes the relationship between children’s day care and fertility in Germany. First, different modes of childcare are discussed with regard to their availability and costs. We then estimate the impact of having access to public day care and care in social networks on first birth probabilities of western German women in the 1980s and 1990s. The empirical analysis does not reveal any statistically significant effect of childcare availability on fertility. We conclude that the overall institutional constraints of day care in (western) Germany prevent the compatibility of childrearing and employment, thereby forcing women to choose between a continuous employment career or childlessness. (AUTHORS)
Keywords: Germany, child care, fertility
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.