Emotion Cultures and Variation in Fertility

Natalie Nitsche , Australian National University

Quantitative research on cross-national variation in fertility behavior and fertility decline has considered many explanatory forces, yet, the role of emotion has to date been neglected. This paper develops a line of argumentation on how emotions of individuals may interact with ‘emotion-cultures’ on the societal level in affecting childbearing behavior and producing cross-national/regional variation in fertility behaviors and rates. A variety of macro-level measurements ranging from ‘overall expressivity endorsement’, over the World Giving Survey, to ‘human and child values’ from the European Social Survey and European Value Survey will be used to capture ‘emotion-cultures’. Using GLM and fixed effects model, I then assess whether such ‘emotion-cultures’ may be helpful in understanding cross-national variation in completed cohort fertility rates, and change in total fertility rates over time. First results indeed show a significant positive relationship between overall emotional expressivity endorsement and completed cohort fertility rates across the developed world

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 Presented in Session 116. The Role of Culture for Childbearing