The Impact of Locational Nearness to Grandmothers(-in-Law) on the Transition to Second Births: Evidence from Andalusia, Spain

Albert Sabater , University of Girona
Elspeth Graham, University of St Andrews
Francisco Viciana, Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia
Diego Ramiro, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Geographical proximity to kin appears to have a pro-natal influence on women’s fertility, although evidence from low-fertility settings with a familistic tradition is still scarce. In this paper, we exploit data from the Longitudinal Database of the Andalusian Population to investigate whether primiparous Spanish-born mothers in the low-fertility setting of Andalusia were more likely to have a second child if they lived in close proximity to maternal or paternal grandmothers (i.e. the mother’s own mother or that of her partner). Following primiparous mothers with one child born in 2001, we model the occurrence of a second birth as a function of residential nearness to maternal and to paternal grandmothers after controlling for contextual and family background characteristics as well as individual and household characteristics. Our results show that living in close geographical proximity (<5km) to grandmothers(-in-law) had a positive influence on the occurrence of a second birth, although co-residence with maternal grandmothers indicates a negative association. Such associations vary as time progresses, with the strongest relationships at 3 and 4 years after first birth. These findings suggest that spatial proximity to maternal or paternal grandmothers might be a strategic response to the high opportunity costs of childbearing for women in the low-fertility context of Andalusia.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course