Since the 1990s, the correlation between divorce and total fertility has turned positive on the country level in Europe. This paper investigates whether this positive association also holds on the individual level. To this end, it uses micro-level data from the third round of the European Social Survey about 23 countries. We introduce location-scale models to analyze both the average number of children and the dispersion around this number. Particular attention goes to the role played by repartnering. We find that a past divorce experience is generally negatively associated with the number of children ever born for both men and women, even for people who are in a new post-divorce union. So, contrary to what is suggested by aggregate level correlations, divorce has not become a pro-natal force in Europe. The only exception may be remarried men, who are somewhat more likely to have three or more children in our sample. Whereas the difference in average number of children born between divorced and never divorced people is small, divorce is associated with much greater heterogeneity in childbearing.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: May 9, 2012
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