Union Instability as an Engine of Fertility? A Micro-Simulation Model for France

Elizabeth Thomson, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Martin Spielauer, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Maria E. Winkler-Dworak, Vienna Institute of Demography

Micro-level relationships between union formation or dissolution and childbearing may constitute the ‘engine’ of variation and change around replacement level fertility. Where unions and childbearing occur relatively late in the childbearing years and stability is relatively high, couples may settle for one child together and not be exposed to the risk of ‘extra’ children with a new partner. When unions and childbearing occur at moderate ages and unions frequently dissolve, however, many parents may produce a second (or third) child with a new partner. In this paper, we estimate the parameters of these micro-level relationships for female respondents to the 1999 French `Etude de l’Histoire Familiale´. We also present an initial micro-simulation of the implications of union dissolution for the intensities of second and third births in France.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 1