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Grandparenting and Childbearing in the Extended Family

Le rôle des grands-parents et la constitution de la descendance dans les familles élargies
  • Arnstein Aassve
  • Elena Meroni
  • Chiara Pronzato
Article

Abstract

The study analyzes the role of grandparents’ childcare provision on their adult children’s fertility behavior using data from the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) for eleven European countries. An important innovation is that we take into account siblings’ fertility behavior and share of grandparents’ time in terms of childcare. We show that availability of grandparents plays an important role in individuals’ decision of having children. Being helped by grandparents increases the chance of childbearing when existing grandchildren are not too young. On the other hand, the probability of having a child is lower when grandparents are already looking after a sibling’s young child. The role of grandparenting appears stronger in the South of Europe, where public childcare for young children is less prevalent.

Keywords

Fertility Childcare Grandparents Europe SHARE 

Résumé

Cet article étudie l’effet de la prise en charge des enfants par les grands-parents sur le comportement de fécondité de leurs enfants adultes à partir des données des Enquêtes sur la Santé, le Vieillissement et la Retraite en Europe [Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)] de onze pays européens. Un apport important de notre travail est qu’il tient compte des comportements de fécondité de la fratrie et le partage du temps que les grands-parents accordent à la prise en charge des enfants. Nous montrons que la disponibilité des grands-parents joue un rôle important sur les décisions des individus d’avoir un enfant. Etre aidé par les grands-parents augmente la probabilité de procréer quand les autres petits-enfants existant ne sont pas trop jeunes. En revanche, la probabilité d’avoir un enfant est plus faible quand les grands-parents s’occupent déjà d’un jeune enfant d’un frère ou d’une sœur. Le rôle des grands-parents apparaît plus important en Europe du sud, région où les services de garde pour les jeunes enfants sont moins présents.

Mots-clés

Fécondité Garde d’enfants Grands-parents Europe SHARE 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank participants to the Population Association of America 2010 Annual Meeting (Dallas, 2010), Dondena—Bank of Italy Workshop (Milan, 2010), the Alp Pop Conference (La Thuile, 2011), and the Understanding Society Conference (Colchester, 2011) for comments on an earlier version of the study. We are very grateful to two anonymous referees and to the editor Hill Kulu whose precious suggestions improved our study. We gratefully acknowledge financial support through Starting Grant no StG-201194 “Consequences of Demographic Change” (CODEC) from the European Research Council (ERC).

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arnstein Aassve
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elena Meroni
    • 3
  • Chiara Pronzato
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Policy Analysis and Public ManagementBocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  2. 2.Dondena Centre for Research on Social DynamicsBocconi UniversityMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Statistical SciencesUniversity of PaduaPaduaItaly
  4. 4.Department of EconomicsUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  5. 5.CHILD Collegio Carlo AlbertoMoncalieriItaly

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