Yearning, Learning and Conceding: (Some of) the Reasons People Change Their Childbearing Intentions
Population and Development Review, 2011, Vol. 37(1), 89-123
ISER Institute for Social & Economic Research Working Paper No. 2010-22
38 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 1, 2010
People’s childbearing intentions change over their lives. These changes are sometimes conceptualised as a response to constraints such as the biological clock or lack of a partner.
However, we find that they are influenced by a much wider range of factors: social norms; adaptation to the wishes of a partner; re-partnering; and learning about the costs and benefits of parenthood. In a departure from existing studies we analyse increases in planned fertility separately from decreases; we conclude that the determinants of increases in planned fertility are not simply equal and opposite to the determinants of decreases.
Keywords: fertility intentions, individual decision-making, constraints to childbearing, intention behaviour mismatch
JEL Classification: J12, J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation