MPIDR Working Paper

The impact of union formation dynamics on first births in West Germany and Italy: are there signs of convergence?

Billari, F. C., Kohler, H.-P.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2000-008
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (October 2000)
Also published in: Fertility and partnership in Europe: findings and lessons from comparative research, vol. 2, (Eds.) E. Klijzing and M. Corijn. United Nations: Geneva, New York 2002, 43-58.
Open Access


In this paper we investigate the changing impact of union formation on the transition to parenthood in West Germany and Italy using FFS data. We first draw attention to overall cohort patterns in union formation and first births and then describe the mutual relationships between union formation, first marriage, and first births. On the basis of event-history models, we then evaluate the impact of union formation behaviour on the transition to motherhood. In particular, we test whether the impact of union status has been changing for younger and older cohorts, thereby investigating whether the heterogeneous spread of non-marital childbearing is gaining relevance as we would expect from the perspective of the Second Demographic Transition. The findings from these analyses allow us to conclude that demographic behaviour is not converging from a cohort perspective. (AUTHORS)
Keywords: Germany/FRG, Italy
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.