Fertility Intentions and Economic Uncertainty in Norway: Which Uncertainty Matters?

Trude Lappegard , University of Oslo
Lars Dommermuth, Statistics Norway
Axel Peter Kristensen, University of Oslo
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
Alessandra Minello, University of Florence

The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between fertility intentions and economic uncertainty in Norway. The point of departure is the somewhat puzzling downward trend in fertility levels in the Nordic countries in the years following the financial crisis in 2008, where Norway shifted from being a country with high fertility, to having low fertility levels in the course of a decade. As the financial crisis did not hit Norway hard, one cannot simply reduce the falling fertility to a reaction to the economic crisis. We argue that, in addition to the current economic situation, perceptions of the future economic situation may influence people’s fertility intentions. Measuring the role of future economic narratives and other operationalization’s of uncertainty, we ask whether future economic narratives influence people’s fertility intentions. Using data from a controlled laboratory experiment, we employ an experimental approach that represents an innovation in demographic analyses.

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 Presented in Session 126. Effects of Economic and Political Uncertainty on Fertility