Two Children – Still an Ideal in the Czech Republic? Social Acceptability vs. Measurement Artefact

Beatrice Chromková Manea , Masaryk University
Ladislav Rabusic, Masaryk University

Skirbekk and Testa (2006) reflect on the differences between realized and ideal fertility levels and called this phenomenon the Low-Fertility Trap Hypothesis. Previous studies suggest that the low fertility trap hypothesis could be justified even in the Czech environment (Rabušic and Chromková Manea, 2013). But the mismatch between the desired fertility ideal and realized one could be caused by the way how we measure ideals and preferences. Hin and colleagues (Hin et al. 2011) argue that the ‘two children’ might be an expression of indecision or ‘I don’t know’ answer. In their opinion, social undesirability that deviates from the social norm of two, put pressure on people to declare that they would like to have two children. Thus, we argue that people should be asked about their alternative fertility preferences in order to determine their real ideals. The goal of this contribution is to explore ideal family size of the Czech population by use of an adapted measurement. We assume that by using subsequence options for the ideal number of children, we can bring new evidence in understanding fertility in the Czech Republic. We work with the following research questions: 1) How do Czech respondents state their subsequent fertility ideals? 2) What are the main socio-demographic determinants of the ideal family sizes? 3) Is two children a result of social acceptability or a measurement artefact? The analyses are based on data from two surveys: the Czech Household Panel Survey (4 waves since 2015) and an ad-hoc surevy run in 2015.

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 Presented in Session 124. Fertility Intentions