Cross-Country Differences in the Transition to the Third Child

Ralina Panova , Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB)

This paper analyses the transition to the third child using two waves from the Generation and Gender Survey (GGS) of four European countries – France, Austria, Hungary and Sweden. The aim is to indicate the country specific mechanisms behind the birth of the third child and the answer question, what are the country-specific factors and mechanisms that influence the birth of a third child. The central assumption is that the social context influences the association between individual demographic and socio-economic characteristics, values and norms on the one hand, and the emergence of large families on the other. To answer this question I take into account theoretical arguments from the VOC, the Theory of Planned Behavior and Rational-choice-Theory. Based on the 1st and the 2nd survey wave of the GGS this paper analyzes 3500 men and women with two children between 18 and 45 years old at 1st wave. Analyses are carried out separately for each country. The study provides new insights into the link between sociocultural factors and formation of large family. It reveals cross-national differences in the relationship between costs, values and norms and higher order fertility transitions. Whereas social and emotional utility of children plays a significant role in France and Austria, it does not seem to be decisive in Hungary. The effect of opportunity costs also appears to have country-specific significance. The next empirical step is to include Sweden in the analyses. Furthermore education specific analyses and grouping of countries are planned.

See extended abstract

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