European Journal of Population

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 1–20 | Cite as

How Migration Affects the Timing of Childbearing: The Transition to a First Birth Among Polish Women in Britain

  • Christiane LübkeEmail author


Views differ on how migration affects the timing of childbearing. Whereas migration has long been considered a break in the life course, hindering family formation, this disruption hypothesis has recently been challenged. New findings indicating that there is often an acceleration of childbearing shortly after migration have led to the formulation of the interrelation hypothesis. Examining the childbearing behaviour of Polish women, this study extends previous research by combining information from the countries of origin and of destination. Using retrospective data from Poland (derived from the European Social Survey) and Britain (derived from the Labour Force Survey), discrete-time event history methods are applied to study the transition to a first birth in relation to the timing of migration. The results show that there is a disruption of childbearing prior to migration, as well as an acceleration of fertility in the years immediately following the move.


Polish migration Migrant fertility Great Britain Disruption Interrelation Own-child method 



I would like to thank Marcel Erlinghagen, Karsten Hank, Thorsten Schneider, the anonymous reviewers, and the editors of the European Journal of Population for their valuable comments on an earlier version of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of SociologyUniversity of Duisburg-EssenDuisburgGermany

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