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It Takes Two to Tango, Doesn't It? The Influence of Couple Characteristics on the Timing of the Birth of the First Child

Martine Corijn, Aart C. Liefbroer and Jenny de Jong Gierveld
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 58, No. 1 (Feb., 1996), pp. 117-126
DOI: 10.2307/353381
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353381
Page Count: 10
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It Takes Two to Tango, Doesn't It? The Influence of Couple Characteristics on the Timing of the Birth of the First Child
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Abstract

Empirical research on factors influencing fertility behavior usually focuses on characteristics of women only. In this study, the timing of the first childbirth is studied using information about characteristics of both partners. The context specificity of the determinants of childbearing is examined by comparing couples with and without cohabitation experience. The sociocultural specificity is studied using data from the Netherlands and Flanders. Results from hazard models based on a representative sample of young couples (N = 1,438) show, in general, that in Flanders a sphere-of-interest rule of decision making and in the Netherlands an egalitarian rule are at play in the decision on the timing of the first birth among couples. Contextual differences show that more specific theories on factors influencing the family formation process are needed.

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