Examining Changing Childbearing Expectations in the U.S. During the Post-Recessionary Period

Alison Gemmill , Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Caroline Hartnett, University of South Carolina

Intentions for children in the U.S. have fallen since the Great Recession, but it is unclear how and why individual childbearing expectations have changed. To address this gap, we use fertility expectation data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 cohort that were measured in 2009 and 2015, when the mean age of participants was 27 and 33, respectively. Preliminary analyses show that between 2009 and 2015, around half of men and women reported the same number of total expected children; however, levels of total expected parity decreased among 30% of respondents and increased among 20%. Future analyses will use multinomial logistic regression models to identify both time-invariant and time-varying factors associated with these changes, including measures of partnership dynamics, labor market participation, and household resources. Analyses will also make a unique contribution to the U.S. literature by drawing on contextual measures of local-area unemployment, labor market polarization, and housing.

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 Presented in Session 115. Fertility