Recent shift towards higher fertility in Poland – short term change or a long term trend?

Krzysztof Tymicki, Warsaw School of Economics

In the year 2003 Poland has reached the lowest value of fertility rates since IIWW. From the year 2004 we face a constant growth of both relative and absolute measures of fertility. In the year 2006 number of births exceeded the number of deaths for the first time since 1999. The paper aims at providing explanations of this positive shift in fertility trends as well as considers the possible future of the change in the fertility rates. These explanations include the analysis of the relative contribution of recuperation effect and structural effects. The recuperation effect hypothesize that recent increase in fertility is contributed by mothers who were postponing reproduction so far. The structural effect hypothesize that analyzed increase in fertility reproduction is caused by large cohorts of baby boomers born during the eighties. It might be also true that both of these effect operate simultaneously. The test of these two hypothetical explanations will be based on the macro data from registration of births. On the basis of used data and theoretical predictions we rather predict that these changes are szmptoms of a short term change rather than a begging of the long term trend. This is due to the fact that both sources of change will not affect the long term trends in fertility. The long term change in fertility trends would require a change in the values and attitudes associated with childbearing behaviour. Therefore the paper also aims at tracking of changes in the values and attitudes of Polish society. Such an analysis could provide us with additional argument that we face a long term trend rather than a short term fluctuation.

Presented in Poster Session 1