Lifecourse Patterns after Migration to Germany: The Interplay of Employment and Fertility Trajectories Since Arrival

Cristina Samper, Hertie School of Governance

This paper studies the interrelation between work and fertility trajectories of female migrants since their arrival to Germany. The negative relation of fertility and employment as well as the interrelation (or disruption) of fertility around migration have been widely studied for Germany and other countries in the demographic and sociological literature. However, few studies bring together this known relation between migration and fertility in order to explain the employment behavior of female migrants. By means of multichannel sequence analysis, taking the process time as the time since migration and using a cluster algorithm to map common parallel employment and fertility careers, we will investigate this ternary relation. After obtaining a robust set of clusters, we use a multinomial logistic model to analyze cluster affiliation and uncover common characteristics of women within each cluster. In this manner we are able to research how employment decisions intersect with fertility decisions after migration and explore to what extent socio-demographic conditions and family status at migration shape different lifecourses. Preliminary findings show 5 distinct work and fertility clusters, comprising the first 10 years after arrival. Their composition demonstrates a high interrelation between partnership, amount of children at arrival and the subsequent fertility and employment behaviors. Furthermore, we find differences in sociodemographic characteristics such as level of education, work experience and religious affiliation are strong predictors of cluster affiliation. The data for this preliminary analysis comes from the retrospective histories of the migrant sample of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). In a future version we will repeat the analysis with more finely grained monthly employment information from the linked register Integrated Employment Biographies (IEB) data and extend our analysis to migrants arriving between 2006-2014. For the results presented here, our analytical sample includes female migrants who arrived to Germany as adults in the years 1990-2005.

Presented in Session 92: Migrant Fertility: Intentions and Behavior