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MPIDR Working Paper

Zur Bedeutung sozialen Kapitals für Fertilitätsentscheidungen: theoretische und empirische Darstellungen am Beispiel Bulgariens

Bühler, C., Philipov, D.

[The relevance of social capital for fertility decisions: a theoretical and empirical account in the case of Bulgaria]

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2004-024, 43 pages (August 2004).
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Keywords: Bulgaria, fertility determinants, social capital, social network

Abstract

Models on the impact of social networks on reproductive behavior primarily address processes of interpersonal influence on fertility related values and utility perceptions and consider aspects of social support and social capital only to a small extend. On the basis of an exchange theoretical definition of social capital it is argued that general resources like money, time, or active help generate social capital that is relevant for fertility decisions, because they help to reduce the costs of having children and stabilize the economic situation of a household. Data from 2002 on the fertility intentions of 2,016 Bulgarian women support this association. The availability of supportive resources has a positive impact on women’s intentions to have a second or third child. However, the availability of these resources does not significantly matter for the intended timing of birth. The embeddedness in kin-based exchange systems of indirect reciprocity also positively influence women’s fertility intentions. This result also highlights the significance of parents as sources of intergenerational transfers and support. (Keywords: Social capital, fertility, Bulgaria, exchange theory, reciprocity)

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