The German Generations and Gender Survey: Some Critical Reflections on the Validity of Fertility Histories

Version
1
Resource Type
Text
Creator
  • Kreyenfeld, Michaela
  • Hornung, Anne
  • Kubisch, Karolin
Collective Title
  • Comparative Population Studies
    Vol 38, No 1 (2013)
Publication Date
2013-01-10
Publication Place
Wiesbaden
Contributor
  • Bundesinstitut für Bevölkerungsforschung (Editor)
Language
English
Free Keywords
Fertility; Fertility history; Union history; Marriage; Data validation; Germany; West Germany; Generations and Gender Survey; GGS; Mikrozensus
Description
  • Abstract

    This paper validates the fertility histories of the German Generations and Gender Survey (GGS). Focusing on the cohorts 1930-69 of West German women, the total number of children, the parity distribution and the parity progression ratios are compared to external sources. One major result from this validation is that the German GGS understates the fertility for the older cohorts and overstates it for the younger ones. We presume that two mechanisms are responsible for this pattern in the German GGS: On the one hand, children who have left parental home are underreported in the retrospective fertility histories. On the other hand, women with small children are easier to reach by the interviewer. These two mechanisms taken together produce too low numbers of children for the older and too high ones for the younger cohorts. Extending the validation to marital histories has revealed a similar bias. Our general conclusion from this investigation is that the German GGS may not be used for statistical analyses of cohort fertility and marriage trends. For subsequent surveys, we suggest integrating simple control questions in questionnaires with complex retrospective fertility and union histories.
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Relations
  • Is identical to
    DOI: 10.12765/10.CPoS-2013-02en (Text)

Update Metadata: 2020-08-17 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2013-02-13