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Our study describes fundamental changes in childbearing behavior in Hungary.
It documents current postponement of entry into motherhood (first birth) and
uncovers signs of delay in second birth. We place the behavioral
modifications into historical time and reveal the basic role of the
political, economic, and societal transformation of Hungary that started in
1989-1990 in these modifications. We document postponement as well as
differentiation, and mothers’ highest level of education will represent the
structural position of individuals. We shed light on the different speed of
postponement and support the assumption of behavioral differences according
to the highest level of education. Particular attention will be paid to
changing partnership relations: Fertility outcomes remain to be strongly associated
with the type of partnership and its development; profound changes in
partnership formation, namely the proliferation of cohabitation and the
increasing separation rate of first partnerships, may therefore facilitate
fertility decline in Hungary. The analysis is based on the first wave of the
Hungarian panel survey "Turning points of the life course" carried
out in 2001/2002.
Demographic Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary
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