Progression to 2nd Births in the U.K.: Interactions with Fertility Desires and Kin Investments

Susan B. Schaffnit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Rebecca Sear, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)

Evidence from many different societies now suggests that the presence of kin influences female fertility, perhaps because the help of kin and other allomothers alleviates the costs of reproduction thus shortening birth intervals. Kin presence appears to influence women’s birth timings even in high-income, low-fertility contexts, though the mechanisms through which kin influence fertility are under-explored. We use Millennium Cohort Study data from the UK to explore in more detail how kin influence reproduction. Specifically, we test the hypothesis that women’s own fertility desires may moderate the effects of kin on women’s fertility, such that kin of women who want further children help them achieve this goal. Using event history analyses of the progression from 1st to 2nd birth, we find, however, that help from kin relates to accelerated birth progressions for women who do not want children, while having no statistically significant effect on women who do want children.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior