How Economic Uncertainty Shapes the Formulation of Fertility Intentions: Evidence from a Cross-National Experimental Approach

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

The main aim of this papers is to identify how the formation of fertility intentions is affected by diverging levels of socioeconomic uncertainty. Fertility intentions are a strong predictor for subsequent childbearing, and according to the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) such intentions are formed on the background of attitudes, social norms and perceived behavioral control towards childbearing. However, we lack evidence how this decision-making process is affected by the socioeconomic context, which is of interest in times of declining fertility rates and increasing economic uncertainty. We use data on fertility intentions and their main determinants, including a randomly assigned future scenario of economic uncertainty. We apply the TPB to this innovative data and expect that fertility intentions vary by the simulated economic scenario. We analyze how the formation of fertility intentions is shaped by economic uncertainty in different European welfare states.

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