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Impact of Social Benefits on the Fertility of Germans and Turkish Immigrants

Content and Objective

The significance of female migration is increasing in the debate on the study of the continuing low birth level in Germany. It is known from the research to date that most women who migrate to Germany are of reproductive age and come from countries where fertility is high. The fertility level of ethnic minorities, for instance women of Turkish origin, continues to be much higher than that of German women after they migrate. For this reason, the research project addresses the causes of the differences in fertility between Turkish women living in Germany and German women. The aim is in particular to find out what role is played by social networks and informal support services when deciding to have a child.

The significance of social support and social capital in terms of reproductive conduct is currently not receiving much attention in the literature. Studies on the significance of the grandparents in relation to informal support for their children and grandchildren are still largely in their infancy. Demographic change however particularly suggests that more attention needs to be directed specifically at the grandparents when studying informal support networks since this is where the potential care relationship has changed considerably in recent years. More and more grandparents are able to help fewer and fewer grandchildren.

The theoretical background is formed both by presumptions of the classical socioeconomic fertility theories and by cultural aspects. Furthermore, (socio-)psychological fertility theories can also be applied.

In addition to the view of the social networks and informal support, the individual care preferences must also be included in the considerations since one presumes that these are cultural in nature, and hence that there are differences. When it comes to parents who prefer to look after their children themselves, the influence of informal support will be different than with parents who are in favour of having others look after them.

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