Quotation Testa, Maria Rita, Bordone, Valeria , Osiewalska, Beata , Skirbekk, Vegard. 2016. Are daughters' childbearing intentions related to their mothers' socio-economic status? Demographic Research 35 (21), 581-616.




Background: Unlike actual fertility, fertility intentions are often found to be positively correlated with education. The literature explaining this paradox is scarce. Objective: We aim to fill the gap in the existing scientific literature by searching for the main factors that influence highly educated women to plan a larger family size. Methods: Using the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey for four countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, and Norway), we analyse the relationship between mother’s socio-economic status and daughter’s fertility intentions, controlling for daughter’s socio-economic status and sibship size. Zero-inflated Poisson regression models are employed to estimate the predictors of women’s additionally intended number of children. Results: We find that the effect of family of origin is exerted mainly through sibship size among childless daughters: Daughters with more siblings intend to have more children. After the transition to parenthood, the effect of family of origin is exerted mainly through the mother’s level of education: Daughters with highly educated mothers intend to have more children. Conclusions: The empirical results suggest that the positive link between births intentions and level of education might not merely be an artefact generated by the design of cross-sectional surveys but the outcome of a better socio-economic status that allows forming positive reproductive plans. Contribution: The positive role of mother’s socio-economic status on daughter’s fertility decision-making offers a valuable interpretation of the positive link between education and fertility intentions which goes beyond the alternative explanations referring to self-selection, partner effect, or time squeeze, and needs to be confirmed by further research.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Demographic Research
Citation Index SSCI
Language English
Title Are daughters' childbearing intentions related to their mothers' socio-economic status?
Volume 35
Number 21
Year 2016
Page from 581
Page to 616
Reviewed? Y
URL http://www.demographic-research.org/Volumes/Vol35/21/
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.4054/DemRes.2016.35.21


Reproductive Decision-Making and Human Capital
Testa, Maria Rita (Former researcher)
Bordone, Valeria (Centre for Research on Ageing and ESRC Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
Osiewalska, Beata (Cracow University of Economics, Department of Demography, Poland)
Skirbekk, Vegard (Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo and Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University, New York, Norway)
Demography Group AB (Former organization)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5404 Demography (Details)
5702 Population statistics (Details)
5703 Demography (Details)
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