English title: Has Divorce Become a Pro-Natal Force in Europe at the Turn of the 21st Century?

Author(s): Jan Van Bavel - Mieke Jansen - Belinda Wijckmans -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2012


Since the 1990s, the correlation between divorce and total fertility has turned positive on the country level in Europe. This paper investigates whether this positive association also holds on the individual level. To this end, it uses microlevel data from the third round of the European Social Survey about 23 countries. We introduce location-scale models to analyze both the average number of children and the dispersion around this number. Particular attention goes to the role played by repartnering. We find that a past divorce experience is generally negatively associated with the number of children ever born for both men and women, even for people who are in a new post-divorce union. So, contrary to what is suggested by aggregate level correlations, divorce has not become a pro-natal force in Europe. The only exception may be remarried men, who are somewhat more likely to have three or more children in our sample. Whereas the difference in average number of children born between divorced and never divorced people is small, divorce is associated with much greater heterogeneity in childbearing.

Volume: 31

Issue: 5

From page no: 751

To page no: 775

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1007/S11113-012-9237-6

Journal: Population: Research and Policy Review

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