Try for the First?! Analysis of Partnership First-Parity Fertility in Spain, 1999-2019

Pau Miret , Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics
Elena Vidal-Coso, Université de Genève

We focus on young childless different-sex partnerships. We observe those couples up to the moment than either have a new baby born or leave the observational window, within a period of twenty years framed on the 21st century, flowing half of it in a pleasant economic expansion and the other half in a disagreeable crisis. The source of data is quarterly panel household Spanish labour force, from the first quarter of 1999 to the second of 2019, gathering 57,605 partnerships observed in 187,045 occasions between one quarter and the following one, registering an event for a 13% of them and treating the rest as truncated information. We are using discrete-time event-history techniques on the transition to first parenthood. We are analysing heterosexual couples, so inter-quarterly periods are nested in partnerships, focusing on the characteristics of those who are having a baby in comparison with those who remain childless. We are modelling these odds according to observational period, women's age and age difference between partners, and both members of the partnership' labour force participation, educational attainment and place of birth. Once age is controlled, the main explanatory factor in the transition to first parenthood is female labour participation, being female unemployment and a gendered model the fundamental explanations in the low first-fertility rates. On contrast, there is no significant difference in first-fertility of native and immigrant partnerships. Moreover, educational attainment has no significance once labour participation is included in the explanatory model.

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