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

See all articles by Maria Iacovou

Maria Iacovou

University of Essex

Lara Patrício Tavares

ISCSP - Universidade de Lisboa

Date Written: June 1, 2010

Abstract

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

Iacovou, Maria and Tavares, L., Yearning, Learning and Conceding: (Some of) the Reasons People Change Their Childbearing Intentions (June 1, 2010). Population and Development Review, 2011, Vol. 37(1), 89-123, ISER Institute for Social & Economic Research Working Paper No. 2010-22, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2284828 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2284828

Maria Iacovou

University of Essex ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Institute for Social and Economic Research
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

L. Tavares (Contact Author)

ISCSP - Universidade de Lisboa ( email )

Rua Almerindo Lessa
Lisboa, 1300-663
Portugal

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