Family Policies and Fertility Intentions across New and Old EU Member States

Sunnee Billingsley, Stockholm University
Tommy Ferrarini, Stockholm University

The debate over how policies influence demographic behavior continues and, in contexts of very low fertility, the question of how policies might support higher fertility has become central. Due to dramatic shifts in care provision in the formerly socialist countries, family policies may particularly be relevant in how child care is distributed and how decisions to have another child are influenced. This paper uses ESS 2004/2005 data to analyze variations in fertility intentions according to multi-dimensional family policy indicators. Multi-level models indicate whether family policy generosity is related to the desire to have another child across national contexts, paying close attention to how this relationship varies by labor force attachment and education. This research contributes to the general debate over whether policies matter to fertility, as well as to the methodological debate over policy measurement.

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Presented in Session 183: Contextual Influences on Fertility Intentions