Immigrant Fertility in Germany: The Role of Culture

SOEPpapers 707, 45 S.

Kamila Cygan-Rehm


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This paper focuses on the role of home country’s fertility culture in shaping immigrants’ fertility. I use the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to study completed fertility of first-generation immigrants who arrived from different countries and in different years. The variation in total fertility rates (TFRs) across countries and over time serves as a proxy for cultural changes. By using a linear fixed-effects approach, I find that women from countries with high TFRs have significantly more children than women from countries with low TFRs. I also demonstrate that this positive relationship is attenuated by potential selection that operates towards the destination country. In addition, home country’s TFRs explain a large proportion of fertility differentials between immigrants and German natives. The results suggest that home country’s culture affects immigrants’ long-run outcomes, thereby supporting the socialization hypothesis.

Themen: Migration, Familie

JEL-Classification: J13;J15;Z10;Z13
Keywords: migration, fertility, socialization, culture, Germany
Frei zugängliche Version: (econstor)