Which mechanisms leading to childlessness prevail? A search for similarities and disparities among Eastern European countries

Cristina Faludi, Babes-Bolyai University

This paper investigates the determinants of childlessness among men and women from Bulgaria, Romania and Russia, using data on a sub-sample of 30-49 years old respondents from the Generations and Gender Survey (2004-2005). We used two models using weighted logistic regressions to contrast childless (involuntary or voluntary) men and women with fathers and mothers. The first model includes covariates related to background and work related characteristics, early life course variables, attitudes and values. The second model adds a set of three variables about family formation. Relevant results from the extended model indicate that childlessness is linked with higher levels of education among Bulgarian and Romanian adults regardless gender, and with better job positions for Romanian men and women. Mother’s higher education among Bulgarian men and absence of siblings among Romanian female increase childlessness. It seems that having siblings discourage childlessness, regardless gender and country. Non-traditional attitudes, particularly disagreeing with the key role of children in women’s life fulfillment, favors childlessness. As expected, celibacy and couple’s breakdown play the most important role in childlessness, while cohabitation reduces the probability of being childless, regardless gender and country.

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Presented in Poster Session 2