MPIDR Working Paper

Childrearing responsibility and stepfamily fertility in Finland and Austria

Vikat, A., Thomson, E., Prskawetz, A.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2003-001, 23 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (January 2003)
The revised version of this working-paper is published in European Journal of Population 20:1, 1-21 (2004).
Open Access


We investigate the hypothesis that the propensity of a stepfamily couple to have a shared child is inversely related to the responsibility for rearing pre-union children. We compare effects of coresident pre-union children to those of nonresident, and effects of the woman’s children to those of the man’s. Shared children and stepchildren reduce the risk of a birth to a couple, and the reduction is larger for each shared child than for a stepchild. We found larger effects of coresident pre-union children than of nonresident children, and larger effects of a woman’s pre-union children than of a man’s. The differences were more pronounced in Austria where public support for childrearing and gender equality is lower than in Finland. Our study demonstrates that in addition to the number of pre-union children, coresidence and parentage of pre-union children also need to be considered in future fertility research.
Keywords: Austria, Finland, child rearing, family composition, fertility determinants
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