MPIDR Working Paper

Fertility intentions in a cross-cultural view: the value of children reconsidered

Kohlmann, A.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2002-002, 38 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (January 2002)
Open Access


This paper seeks to explain the differences in fertility intentions between Turkey and Japan, based on a theoretical modification of the social-psychological concept of the ‘Value of Children’. We assume that the ‘Value of Children’ consists of their support for their parents in order to achieve general human goals. We investigate the causal structure between individual socio-economic characteristics and the ‘Value of Children’ and fertility intentions. We use data from the original “Value of Children Studies”, including women in their reproductive age, with children born in wedlock. Based on confirmatory factor analyses and structural equation models, we find that in both countries fertility intentions are related to the instrumentality of children to their parents as well as to socio-economic characteristics and institutionally defined opportunities. The ‘Value of Children’ is in part determined by socio-economic independent variables; however, we also observe direct effects that can not be reduced to the instrumentality of children. Therefore, the endogenization of the effects of the ‘Value of Children’ on fertility intentions is limited
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