Uitstel van gezinsvorming: culturele dynamiek of structurele verandering
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Mens en maatschappij. - Houten
, p. 277-299
Cultural and economic theories of demographic change interpret the changing patterns of nuptiality and fertility that have emerged since the mid 1960s as coherent emanations of an ideational shift, or conversely, as the outcome of a limited set of economic principles. In this article, the claims of cultural and economic arguments are tested using the maternity histories and histories of marital status of 2,172,556 Belgian women born between 1921 and 1975. This unique body of data allows to reconstruct patterns of birth-order-specific fertility as a function of educational attainment, labor force participation and regional settings over an extended period of time. The longitudinal results indicate that the demographic trends that emerged since the mid 1960s are not closely related at the individual level and offer new insights for the integration of cultural and economic arguments.