MPIDR Working Paper
Crisis or adaptation reconsidered: a comparison of East and West German fertility patterns in the first six years after the ´Wende´
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2002-032, 41 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (July 2002)
Similar to other Eastern European countries, East Germany experienced a rapid decline in period fertility rates after the fall of communism. This decline has been discussed along the lines of a ´crisis´ and a ´adaptation´ to western demographic patterns. The aim of this paper is twofold. Firstly, we discuss the factors which foster and hamper a convergence of fertility behavior in East and West Germany. Secondly, we use data from the German micro-census to analyze the fertility patterns of the cohorts born 1961-1970. Major results from our empirical analysis are that East Germans who are still childless at unification are more rapid to have their first child in the subsequent years than comparable West Germans. However, regarding second parity births, the pattern reverses. Here, East Germans display a lower transition rate than their counterparts in the West.
Keywords: Germany, fertility