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					The Postponement of Childbearing,
Completed Fertility and Subjective
Well-being




             Hans-Peter Kohler
     Axel Skytthe and Kaare Christensen
                University of Pennsylvania
         University of Southern Denmark, Odense
Concerns about delayed childbearing



   Demographic effects
       Parity progression ratios
       Completed fertility

   Subjective well-being derived from children
    and parenting
       Interactions between motivation for parenting and
        age
          Age at first birth and fertility


   What is the effect of a
    “late start” in                                                                  fertility at age 38
    parenthood on




                                                                2.8
    completed fertility?



                                                                2.6
    Postponement effect
                                  average fertility at age 38



                                                                2.4
       relative (absolute)
        decline in fertility                                    2.2

        resulting from a 1-year
                                                                2.0


        delay in 1st birth
                                                                           Females
                                                                1.8




                                                                           Males

                                                                           Females, fitted line
                                                                1.6




                                                                           Males, fitted line


                                                                      20                 25                   30   35

                                                                                         age at first birth
                                                                                       (cohorts 1945-65)
Relevance

   Age at first birth and completed fertility are
    the “cornerstones” that theories of fertility
    behavior need to capture
   Forecasting of cohort fertility: age at first birth
    is a potential early indicator of completed
    fertility
   Adjustment of the TFR: is there a “pure
    postponement” of fertility?



   Data: Monozygotic (identical) twins born
    1945--65 in Denmark (register-based data)
Determinants of postponement effect



   Postponement effect is strong if
       Age-related child-costs are relevant
       Costs of children increase with
        human capital
       Delaying childbirth has small
        economic returns
Regress completed fertility on age at
first birth

   Simple, but potential bias of coefficients

   Overestimated
       Selection with respect to fertility desires or
        fecundity
   Underestimated
       Selection with respect to abilities and “potential”,
        marriage market success, etc.
MZ twins from Danish Twin Registry

Can control for
 characteristics of parental

  household
 genetic dispositions

 “ability” and returns to

  education, etc.


   Fixed effect regression
    (within MZ twin estimator)
            Estimates of postonement effect

                            Females                                                              Males
    0.05                                                             0.05
0.045                                         within-MZ             0.045                                        within-MZ
    0.04                                      OLS                    0.04                                        OLS
0.035                                                               0.035
    0.03                                                             0.03
0.025                                                               0.025
    0.02                                                             0.02
0.015                                                               0.015
    0.01                                                             0.01
0.005                                                               0.005
      0                                                                  0




                                                                                              50


                                                                                                       55


                                                                                                                60


                                                                                                                         65
                                                                             ll
                           50


                                    55


                                             60


                                                      65
           ll




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                                                                                         19


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     Cohorts 1945-68
     Logarithm of fertility measured at age 38
     Postponement effect measures relative decline in completed fertility per additional year of delayed fertility
        2 Effects
                                                           ( a )       Po s        tp

                                                 aP E  = po  stpo




                                      postnemfct0.2 0.6 0.1
                                                    r
                                                  ve a ge A F  B
                                                  co h. 5  -
                                                         7 6  0
                                       a   r
                                        ve a g e A FB
                                         coh . 4 -
                                                5 48


                 effect has . e P 8
  Postponement ver g45- E
             a
                   co
                           a
                           h      4   C
  declined across cohorts            A   a ver
                                      B  co h.


 Postponement effect
  increases at later desired




                                 -0.2
                                  2 02 53 0

  fertility
  a v e r a g e                  AF B w ith in
                                                                 c        o r t
                                                                      o h c o hs
                                                           ( b )       D   is     tr i

   Compensating reduction in
    PE, particularly for women      distrbuon0f.AF4B 0.8 0.12
                                       a   r
                                        ve a g e A FB
                                         coh . 4 -
                                                5 48
                                                 a   r
                                                  ve a g e A FB
                                                   coh . 5 -
                                                          7 60
                                 0.
                                                                2 02 53 0
                            a g e                               a t   fir s   t   b i
Conclusions I

   Effect of age-at-first birth on subsequent and
    completed fertility is underestimated by standard
    analyses
   Change in postponement effect is underestimated;
    the effect is weakening over time, especially for
    males, but effect remains relevant
   Changing selectivity over time
   Dependence on desired onset of fertility for females
   Delayed childbearing reinforces postponement-
    fertility connection
Happiness & Fertility
                                                      Children and Well-being
 0.4
                                                                                                                                                                                     Effect of „Fertility“ on
                0.4                                       Women                                                                                        Men
                                                                                                                                                                                     subjective well-being
 0.3                               0.4                                                                         Women
                0.3                                                                                                                       Men                                        (0 = Not particularly / not statisfied;
                                                       0.4                                                                                                                           1 = rather satisfied; 2 = Very satisfied)
 0.2
  0.4                              0.3                                          0.4


  0.3
                                  Frauen
                                                                          0.4   0.3
                                                                                                              Männer
                                                                                                                                                       Women       Further Results
  0.2
                0.2                                                             0.2

                                                       0.3                                                                                                   Men
 0.1                               0.2                                        no change within age group 25-
  0.1                                                                           0.1


    0           **   **             **     **                                     0        **    **             **     **
                                                                                                                                                                   
                                                                          0.3
                                                                              45, but children loose relevance
                                                          *

  -0.1
       0.1Erstes Kind,            Erstes Kind,        Restliche Kinder
                                                                                -0.1
                                                                                        Erstes Kind,          Erstes Kind,        Restliche Kinder

                    0.2
                                                                              in the age range 50-70 years
             Junge                 Mädchen                                                 Junge               Mädchen


    0         0.1              + within-MZ      OLS
                                                            *       **                                      within-MZ       OLS

  0.4                                                                           0.4


                            0.2   Frauen                                                                      Männer



                                                                            negative effect of step children
  0.3                                                                           0.3

         0          **      **                 **     **
  0.2                                                                           0.2

                    0.1                                                  *
 -0.1
  0.1


    0      **
                0           *
                            **
                                   **                        **
                                                              **   **
                                                                              for men
                                                                                0.1


                                                                                  0                                                      **    **

                            0.1
                  # of children                 **
                                                          # of children
      -0.1                                                                  no effect of separation/divorce
  -0.1                                                                          -0.1
         Erstes Kind,     Erstes Kind,   Anz. restliche   Gegenwärtig                  Erstes Kind,    Erstes Kind,   Anz. restliche   Gegenwärtig
            Junge
                       0         **
                           Mädchen          Kinder
                                                    **         in
                                                                                         ** **
                                                                                          Junge         Mädchen          Kinder             in



                                                                        ** from
                                                                     # of remaining partner of first child
                                                          Partnerschaft                                                                Partnerschaft

                                           First OLS
                First child, boy within-MZ child, girl
             -0.1                within-MZ      OLS                                                         within-MZ       OLS



                                                                         children
                        First 0child, boy          First child, girl        # of remaining ** **
                                                                            persistent negative effect of
                                                                                children
                   -0.1                   within-MZ OLS
                                                                              early currently in
                            First child, boy First child, girl # of remaining first births (age ≤ 21) for
                                                  within-MZ OLS
                           -0.1
                                                                              women
                                                                       children        partnership
                                    First child, boy First child, girl # of remaining currently in
                                                         within-MZ OLS different correlation von
                                                                            children        partnership

                                                                within-MZ unobserved characteristics mij
                                                                               OLS
+ p ≤ .10; * ≤ .05; ** p ≤ .01;
                                                                              with fertility behaviors
Well-being and postponement

   No effect of postponement on well-being in
    later adulthood across wide range of
    childbearing effects
   Strong negative effect of “young onset” of
    parenthood
Conclusions

   children and „Happiness“:
       dominant effect of first child
       negative effect (women) and no effect (men) of additional
        children
       no additional effect of children after controlling for current
        partnership for men (but effect exists for women)
       sex-preferences: first-born boys make men happier than
        first-born girls (no difference for women)
       negative effect of step children for men (women are
        indifferent)
       persistent negative effect of early first births for women
   Implications for fertility and family theories
   Implications for understanding low fertility in
    Europe

				
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posted:10/26/2011
language:English
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