Difficult Home Ownership and First-Child Birth: Evidence from Spain

Juan A. Módenes, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Alda B. Azevedo, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and University of Lisbon
Julián López-Colás, Center for Demographic Studies (Barcelona)

This paper takes Spain as an illustration of the southern European residential system to analyse the relationship between housing and fertility. Taking the Encuesta Financiera de las Familias (2008) as data source, this paper aims to test if being a household head of an owner-occupied dwelling increases the likelihood of first-child birth. The results confirm our hypothesis and add that the apparent paradox at macro-level between high home ownership rates and extremely low fertility rates can be largely explained by high non-headship rates. This is particularly applicable to the Spanish case where, at the micro-level, home ownership increases the likelihood of first-child birth. To promote a change in the southern European residential system per se will not suffice to encourage family formation and fertility. However, fertility-oriented policies need also to rely in housing policies in the traditional sphere that usually gathers financial support, parental-leave rights, child-care services and work-family articulation.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Fertility Intentions and Behaviors