Extramarital pregnancy and transition to marriage: examination of intergenerational effects in selected GGS countries

Krzysztof Tymicki, Warsaw School of Economics

Paper aims at explanation of incidence of bridal pregnancies (premarital conception and marital birth) in the context of intergenerational relations (impact of parents on the process of decision-making). The paper strives for estimation of parental influence on the decision-making process while controlling for the effect of internal factors such as declared norms and values towards family formation and childbearing. The motivation for the analysis arises from observation that in some European countries bridal pregnancy still constitutes an important path of family formation. At this same time, observed changes in the share of extramarital births result the fact that increasing proportion of couples decides not to marry during pregnancy. Therefore, we find important to address the issue of factors responsible for decision concerning marriage during pregnancy. We aim at reaching this research goal by measuring parental impact while controlling for internalized norms and values. Parental effect (external factor) is operationalized as an impact of older generation via normative and economic pressure, whereas internal factors are defined as impact of norms and values internalized by decision makers. The study uses data from the GGS survey for countries with high (Poland, Spain, Italy) and low (Netherlands, France, Norway) incidence of bridal pregnancies in order to account for relative importance of external and internal factors. In the model (probit regression) we estimate the effect of both internal and external factors (controlling for other variables) on the outcome variable (bridal pregnancy). Preliminary results for Poland, suggest that there is a significant parental impact on the likelihood of entering marriage during pregnancy however significance of this effect seems to diminish over time. The effect of internal factors (as measured by declared norms and values) seems to be significant across analysed period with slight increase for those couples who have conceived a child after the year 2000.

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Presented in Session 107: Unions and fertility