The age at which people have their children has increased tremendously since the 1970s in the low fertility countries. The reasons for delayed reproduction have been explored extensively, but very little attention has been given to the factors that facilitate and constrain fertility at later ages (from age 30). Yet, the desire and ability of those who did not have children in their 20s to have them later (“fertility recuperation”) is decisive for future fertility levels, and for life satisfaction among those who wish children. BIC.LATE will fill this gap by studying the biological, individual and contextual factors of later reproduction in the low-fertility countries, and possible catch-up behaviour of those who did not have a child earlier.
In this new perspective, we will:
1) Measure the effect of biological limits on fertility recuperation with contemporary data for women and men, accounting for changes in Assisted Reproductive Technologies;
2) Identify the remaining individual factors of later fertility (demographic and socio-economic) among women and men, exploring factors more relevant at that ages (health, dedication to work);
3) Understand to what extent the structural and cultural context of a country (e.g. policies, economic situation, social norms) matters for fertility recuperation in a comparative perspective;
4) Estimate the link of these factors with fertility recuperation and draw cutting-edge meta-scenarios of cohort fertility.
We will use data from social surveys (cross-sectional, panels) and aggregate cohort fertility data in Europe, the English-speaking oversea countries and East Asia, and data from a fertility clinic in Vienna. The research design includes survival analysis on panel data and on retrospective family history, aggregate correlations and cohort fertility projections.
BIC.LATE will inform policy makers about the major contextual drivers of future fertility, using clearly articulated storylines and their associated scenarios.
Call for proposal
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