Gender, Economic Conditions, and Social Norms: Does Context Matter for Fertility Intentions?

Gerda R. Neyer, Stockholm University
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
Trude Lappegård, Statistics Norway

This paper explores the impact of the economic, social, and cultural environment on women’s and men’s fertility intentions to have a(nother) child in the near future across regions of eight European countries. We apply a multi-level logistic regression to data from the Generations and Gender Survey. Our results show that contextual factors do matter and that substantial gender and regional differences in fertility intentions exist among those with and without children. The findings suggest the importance of distinguishing between macro-level factors that signal economic insecurity versus economic opportunity in gauging the effect of economic circumstances on fertility intentions. Our study also underlines the positive relationship between a high-fertility surrounding and mothers’ and fathers’ intentions to consider another child. Cultural and social contextual factors may even outweigh to some extent the effects of macro-economic circumstances on fertility intentions.

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Presented in Session 183: Contextual Influences on Fertility Intentions