Political Orientation and Fertility in Turkey: Evidence from World Values Survey, 1989-2014

Ismet Koç , Hacettepe University Institute of Population Studies
Melike Saraç, Hacettepe University

The impact of political orientation of individuals on their fertility level is an issue that disregarded highly in the demographic literature. Therefore, this study aims to investigate whether political attitude is associated with number of children on the basis of individuals that completed their reproductive period. The data are from all the waves of the World Value Survey conducted in Turkey from 1989-1993 to 2010-2014 periods. The study utilizes the two main questions from the data sets. The first one is “How many children do you have?”, the dependent variable of the study varying between 0 to 8. The second one is the “Self-positioning in political scale” ranging from left to right in ten different scale points. This variable was categorized under three different groups as left/liberal, intermediate and right/conservative. A number of covariates are also controlled during the multivariate phase of the study. In the multivariate phase of the study, the study exploits the poison regression technique in order to show the net impact of the political orientation on fertility under the control of all possible covariates. Overall, political orientation for right/conservative than for left/liberal and intermediate political attitudes are associated with higher average number of offspring. The association persists even after controlling all possible covariates. Furthermore, the time series data shows that this pattern emerged in Turkey during the 2000s with the effect of the political polarization around the discussion on “all couples should have at least 3-children” policy suggested by the government with the right/conservative political orientation.

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 Presented in Session P1. Poster Session Fertility, Family and the Life Course