The “Transition Generation’s” Entrance to Parenthood: Postponement across 19 Post-Socialist Countries
preprintposted on 26.03.2021, 20:16 by Sunnee BillingsleySunnee Billingsley, Aija Duntava
This study investigates the conditions under which delayed parenthood emerges. We combined micro and macro-data to explore the timing of parenthood for women who entered adulthood during the 1990s and 2000s over a wide range of 19 post-socialist countries. Postponement was associated with higher educational attainment, but the educational composition of the population accounted for little variation in the average timing of parenthood among countries. Postponement was also associated with a more positive economic environment and accounting for the economic context absorbed over half of the variation among countries. The strength of the economy’s influence varied across educational levels, but a poorer economic context was consistently linked to earlier parenthood across all educational levels. We interpret this finding as evidence that postponement does not become widespread when there is little reason to expect improved financial circumstances. The postponing influence of economic performance also appeared to wane when women entered their late 20s and early 30s, which may be evidence of age norms or deadlines.