Remaining childless in affluent economies: a comparison of France, West Germany, Italy and Spain, 1994–2001 Rester sans enfant dans des sociétés d'abondances: une comparaison de la France, l'Allemagne de l'Ouest et l'Espagne, 19994–2001

Original Paper

Abstract

This article explores why women delay childbearing and increase their likelihood to remain childless in Spain, Italy, West Germany and France. We take a macro–micro perspective and show that national institutions influence women’s life transitions, in particular partnership and motherhood. For coupled women, we find two alternative modes out of childlessness. In countries with high direct and indirect child costs, like Spain and Italy, entering a male-breadwinner couple or occupying a stable and high-income position facilitates motherhood, while in the French context motherhood is most likely in a dual-earner partnership.

Keywords

Childlessness family formation European comparative analysis 

Résumé

Cet article explore les raisons pour lesquelles les femmes retardent la procréation au risque de ne pas avoir d’enfants, en Espagne, Italie, Allemagne de l’Ouest et France. A l’aide d’une perspective macro-micro, nous démontrons que les politiques nationales influencent les transitions dans la vie des femmes, et notamment la mise en couple et la maternité. Pour les femmes en couple, il y a deux façons de faire la transition vers le premier enfant. Dans les pays où les coûts directs et indirects de l’enfant sont élevés, comme l’Italie et l’Espagne, le fait de devenir femme au foyer avec un conjoint qui travaille, ou encore d’occuper une position professionnelle stable et bien rémunérée facilite la maternité, alors que dans le contexte de la France, la maternité est plus probable dans le cadre de couples bi-actifs.

Mots-clés

non-maternité formation des familles perspective comparative européenne 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • María-José González
    • 1
  • Teresa Jurado-Guerrero
    • 2
  1. 1.Departament de Ciències Polítiques i SocialsUPFBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Departamento de Sociología IIU.N.E.D.MadridSpain

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