An article examined the phenomenon of the substantial over-reporting of childlessness in the General Household Survey. Misreporting in fertility histories dated primarily from administrative changes in the GHS in the years 1998-2000.
Source: Maire Ni Bhrolchain, Eva Beaujouan, and Michael Murphy, 'Sources of error in reported childlessness in a continuous British household survey', Population Studies, Volume 65 Issue 3
An article examined the determinants of fertility rates at the national level of 17 developed (OECD) countries. State policies played a significant role in either helping or hindering fertility levels. Active labour market policies and generous work and family policies encouraged higher fertility rates, while the presence of employment protection legislation hindered the growth of fertility rates.
Source: Allison Rovny, ' Welfare state policy determinants of fertility level: a comparative analysis', Journal of European Social Policy, Volume 21 Number 4
A paper examined the relationship between education and fertility in European countries. More education caused a substantial decrease in childlessness and an increase in the average number of children per woman.
Source: Margherita Fort, Nicole Schneeweis, and Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, More Schooling, More Children: Compulsory schooling reforms and fertility in Europe, Discussion Paper 6015, Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn)
A new book examined the birth process from a socio-legal perspective.
Source: Fatemeh Ebtehaj, Jonathan Herring, Martin Johnson, and Martin Richards (eds.), Birth Rites and Rights, Hart Publishing
Links: Table of contents
A paper examined reproductive decision-making in Europe. Three factors formed a strong barrier to the realization of fertility desires for many women and couples and often forced them to make a difficult (and unnecessary) choice between a work career and parenthood: policies in many countries remained tailored to the 'male-breadwinner' model; couples in most countries continued to have a very uneven division of household and childcare work; and dominant norms in many countries strongly sustained the traditional (patriarchal) view that women should not work when their children were small.
Source: Tomas Sobotka, Reproductive Decision-Making in a Macro-Micro Perspective (REPRO): Synthesis and policy implications, European Demographic Research Papers 1 (2011), Vienna Institute of Demography
An article examined the effects of economic recessions on fertility in the developed world. In most countries, the recent global recession had brought a decline in the number of births and fertility rates, often marking a sharp halt to the previous decade of rising fertility rates.
Source: Tomas Sobotk, Vegard Skirbekk, and Dimiter Philipov, 'Economic recession and fertility in the developed world', Population and Development Review, Volume 37 Issue 2
An article examined fertility rates using the ONS Longitudinal Study, focusing on the difference made by the inclusion of non-continually resident members. The fertility of mothers who were not continuously resident was substantially higher than the rates of those who were continuously resident.
Source: James Robards, Ann Berrington, and Andrew Hinde, 'Estimating fertility rates using the ONS Longitudinal Study – what difference does the inclusion of non-continually resident members make?', Population Trends 144, Summer 2011, Office for National Statistics
A report highlighted the problems in Europe associated with an ageing population, and with birth rates that were below the level needed to dramatically change the balance between young and older people.
Source: Stijn Hoorens, Jack Clift, Laura Staetsky, Barbara Janta, Stephanie Diepeveen, Molly Morgan Jones, and Jonathan Grant, Low Fertility in Europe: Is There Still Reason to Worry?, RAND Corporation
An article examined the effects of women's education and the rate of aggregate unemployment on birth incidence, using data from the 1958 and 1970 British cohort studies.
Source: Andrew Jenkins, 'Educational attainment, labour market conditions and the timing of births', Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, Volume 2 Number 2
An article examined recent fertility trends in European and other developed countries, and the effects of family-friendly policies on fertility. Although these policies did seem to have an impact on fertility, its magnitude was limited.
Source: Olivier Thevenon and Anne Gauthier, 'Family policies in developed countries: a "fertility-booster" with side-effects', Community, Work & Family, Volume 14 Number 2
A paper reviewed studies of reproductive decision-making in Europe. Most of the research supported the idea of a gap between intended and realized family size; and longitudinal surveys clearly showed that many respondents were not able to realize their childbearing intentions.
Source: Tomas Sobotka, Reproductive Decision-Making in a Macro-Micro Perspective (REPRO): Synthesis and policy implications, European Demographic Research Papers 1, Vienna Institute of Demography