The Influence of (Potential) Grandparents in Adult Child’s Entry into Parenthood

Roberta Rutigliano, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Since women have acquired a new role in society, together with their partners, they struggle to reconcile their career with family life. Further, extended family structure has been substantially distorted because of the demographic changes. The general aim of this study is to explore and clarify the role of grandparents in influencing couples’ fertility behaviors. Specifically, I test whether grandparental propensity of providing childcare influences the adult child’s likelihood of having a first child. The key idea is to consider grandparental characteristics as a proxy for future childcare provision. I use data from the first two waves of SHARE (Survey of Health Aging and Retirement in Europe). A two-step approach is implemented, in the first step I measure grandparenting propensity. In the second step I estimate the role of grandparents in first birth transition by using the predictions of the first step values as a proxy for future childcare provisions.

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 Presented in Session P1. Marriage, Unions, Families, and Households