Parental Influence on First-Birth Transition: A Cross-Country Comparison

R. Rutigliano , Groningen University

This study investigates whether the propensity of would-be grandparents to provide childcare influences adult children’s transition into parenthood. Whether or not adult children can count on would-be grandparents as a source of childcare provision is not a directly observable variable at the time of transition into parenthood. To overcome this challenge, the author builds an index based on the characteristics of both actual grandparents and adult children to proxy for future childcare provision. Further, given the importance of national context, the author estimates separate models for different groups of countries. Analyzing data on 11 European countries from the Survey of Health and Retirement in Europe, reveals a positive and significant effect of grandparental childcare propensity on transition into parenthood for both pro-natalist (Belgium and France) and pro-traditional countries(Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Switzerland). The author discusses the findings focusing on the relationship between formal and informal childcare systems.

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 Presented in Session 174. Intergenerational Relationships