How do fertility intentions change after first birth?

Laura Castiglioni, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Claudia Schmiedeberg, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München
Petra Buhr, Universitat Bremen

Using the German Family Panel (pairfam), a large, randomly sampled longitudinal study of intimate relationships and families running since 2008, we investigate if fertility plans change after birth of the first child. We expect that desired number of children is adjusted according to the parent’s experiences with the first child, e.g. regarding the child’s behaviour, but also measured by changes in subjective well-being and relationship quality across the transition to parenthood. Our hypothesis is that negative experiences, for instance, a drop in well-being or a steep increase in stress levels after birth, will be associated with a reduction in the desired number of children and – in the extreme case – cause parents to refrain from further fertility plans. To take into account that unobserved heterogeneity, e.g. the way individuals cope with stress, we apply a fixed-effects approach, i.e. we focus on intra-individual changes in fertility plans over time.

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Presented in Session 55: Fertility preferences 3