Income Inequalities, Social Classes and Differences in Norms and Values Related Childbearing and Childrearing. International Comparative Study with Use of Survey Data

Krzysztof Tymicki , Warsaw School of Economics

Analysis aims at capturing international and class specific differences in values related to childbearing and childrearing for countries with different level of income inequalities and wealth. Growing body of literature suggest that income inequality might constitute an important context for parental decision-making not only with respect to number of children but also in terms of parental investments and transmitted values. Analysis clusters countries with respect to income inequalities as measured by Gini coefficient and overall wealth measured by GDP. Moreover, class dimension is added in order to find out possible differences in norms and values between social classes in each country. Analysis uses data from World Values Survey since they allow for international comparison for large amount of countries. In order to account for country specific clusters, we apply clustering analysis and subsequently principal component analysis. The latter method allows to rank importance of different norms towards childbearing and childrearing in selected clusters of countries. Preliminary results suggest that there are minor differences between countries with different level of income inequalities with respect to analysed norms and values. However, magnitude of differences is getting bigger if we analyse countries by selected social classes. Middle class, due to its’ competitive nature, seems to attach more significance to financial and educational success of their children while upper social classes in countries with lower income inequalities attach more value to self-realization of their children. This statement seems to hold true even in countries with similar level of GDP but with different income inequality.

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 Presented in Session 122. Social Inequality and Fertility