Scenarios of Fertility Postponement and Associated Cohort Fertility Levels

Maria Winkler-Dworak , Vienna Institute of Demography
Maria Pohl, University of Vienna
Eva Beaujouan , University of Vienna (Wittgenstein Centre)

Families are formed increasingly late, and fertility rates among people in their 20s have dropped considerably across Europe in the last 50 years. Childbearing and partnership are strongly dependent on each other, and how change in individual birth risks translates into aggregate fertility outcomes (particularly, fertility recuperation) needs to take partnership dynamics into account. For instance, partnership situations and their propensity to bring about a birth differ widely across the life-course. In addition, birth risks decrease strongly from age 30-35 to almost zero at 45-50, which can hamper recuperation. Using microsimulation models that represent Italy, Great Britain and Sweden and Norway’s 1970-79 birth cohort, we study mechanisms of postponement and recuperation in fictive scenarios of lower baseline birth risks before age 30 and higher after. We explore whether some systematic recuperation takes place due to change in partnership dynamics when lowering early risks, and also estimate by how much first birth risks should increase at later age to keep childlessness rates and completed cohort fertility constant. First results show that recuperation for childlessness and completed fertility is complete only when increasing substantially baseline first birth risks after age 30.

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 Presented in Session 62. New Methodological Approaches in Fertility Research