The Nonmarital Childbearing Network

The Intersection Between Childbearing and Union Status


Spatial trends in nonmarital fertility in Europe

Sebastian Klüsener, Brienna Perelli-Harris, Nora Sánchez Gassen
General description We combine Political Demography and Political Geography approaches to investigate the role of politics and culture in shaping the geographic pattern of non-marital fertility levels in Europe since 1900. There are three main objectives. The first is to give an account over the development of non-marital fertility in European regions over the last 100 years. The second aim is to adjudicate between the role of culture versus politics in producing spatial patterns of non-marital fertility. Doing so, we focus on the role of administrative borders and cultural boundaries as potential critical junctures/ divides in non-marital fertility trends across space. The third is to identify natural experiment settings, such as major policy reforms related to non-marital fertility behavior, for detailed case studies on the relationship between policies, culture and non-marital childbearing. First results show that the spatial pattern of non-marital fertility levels and its development over time is far from being random. Often, distinct cross-border differences exist across political and/ or cultural borders. We are also able to identify several natural experiment settings for further study.
Presentations Sebastian Klüsener, Brienna Perelli-Harris, Nora Sánchez Gassen: Non-Marital Fertility in European Regions 1900-2007 Politics, Culture and Critical Junctures in Time and Space. Social Science and History Association. Chicago. Nov. 18-21, 2010.
Publications Klüsener, S., B. Perelli-Harris, N. Sánchez Gassen (2012): . "Spatial Aspects of the Rise of Nonmarital Fertility across Europe since 1960: The Role of States and Regions in shaping Patterns of Change." European Journal of Population.

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