How do individual normative attitudes influence the childbirth between two waves of GGS in Germany, France and Bulgaria

Ralina Panova, Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

Based on the 1st and 2nd wave of the Generations and Gender Survey (GGS) data this paper provides comparative analysis of fertility and individual attitudes towards children in Western Germany, France and Bulgaria. The aim of this paper is to answer the question of how different aspects of normative family attitudes influence the birth of a child and how this link differs in the above mentioned countries. It takes cross-cultural as well as cross-national perspective. Observing three different societies allows a broader view which enables us to better understand how culture influences fertility. Furthermore this can contribute to explain the differences in fertility behavior between these countries. Germany and France both fall under the category conservative countries (Esping-Andersen 1990), however they differ in their structural family policy, childcare facilities und fertility patterns. The involvement of Bulgaria in the analysis provides an interesting east-west comparison regarding the link between cultural attitudes and fertility. This paper focuses on individuals between 18 and 45 years and analyzes a total of 9,143 men and women. The multivariate analysis is carried out using logistic regression. In addition to the overall sample with country as additional control variable, analyses are carried out for each country separately, revealing the influence of individual attitudes on fertility behavior. The main dependent variable is the decision for a/another child. It is operationalized as the birth of a child between wave 1 and wave 2 or current pregnancy at the time of the second interview. The explaining variables are attitudes towards children and family based on the theory of planned behavior. The current study provides new insights into the link between individual attitudes towards children and the childbirth. It also reveals cross-national differences in the relationship between attitudes and fertility behavior.

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Presented in Session 51: European fertility