Union instability and fertility: an international perspective

Ana Fostik, Statistics Canada / Statistique Canada
Mariana Fernández Soto, Programa de Población, Udelar
Daniel Ciganda, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Fernando Ruiz Vallejo, Universidad Javeriana

We analyse the relationship between union instability and cumulated fertility among ever-partnered women aged 40 and older, in 24 countries from Europe and America. We use the Harmonized Histories dataset from GGP, and we conduct our own harmonization of survey data from three Latin-American countries containing comparable information. We estimate cumulated fertility by conjugal trajectory before age 40, and we analyse the proportion of cumulated fertility attributable on average to first and to second and subsequent unions. We conduct a similar exercise for ever repartnered women by age 40, analysing the proportions ever having children in first and higher order unions, as well as the proportions childless. We use a series of Poisson regression models to analyse the effect of union instability on the number of children ever born among ever partnered women. Finally, we shift our analysis to focus on the effect of time spent in first and subsequent unions on cumulated fertility among ever repartnered women. Our analyses reveal a negative effect of separation that is partially offset by repartnering in some national contexts. Our results suggest that time spent in a union is a key determinant of cumulated fertility, regardless of union rank and of national context.

Keywords: Family demography, Life course analysis, Fertility and childbirth, Harmonized data sets

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 161. Family Systems, Kinship and Marriage Timing