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Learning from others and receiving support: the impact of personal networks on fertility intentions in Poland

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Author Info

  • Christoph Bühler

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Ewa Fratczak
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    Abstract

    Research about fertility has focused in the main on studying separately the influences of communication networks and social capital on reproductive behavior, but it has rarely tried to integrate both network properties theoretically or analytically. We therefore discuss a general model of purposeful behavior that perceives individuals’ subjective perceptions of the utilities of different courses of action to be affected by structures of interpersonal influence. Resources needed to realize desired goals are furthermore shaped by exchange relationships that build social capital. These considerations are empirically applied to explanations of the intentions of 758 Polish men and women ever to have a first, second, or third child. Personal networks are especially relevant for the considerations to have a first or a second child. The intentions of childless respondents are positively influenced by network partners that are in a similar stage of their reproductive biographies or that have already taken the step of having a first child. However, respondents with one child intend to have a second child with a higher probability the more they have access to fertility-related social capital. (Keywords: interpersonal influence, social capital, fertility, rational choice, behavioral intentions, Poland)

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2005-017.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2005-017.

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    Length: 27 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2005
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2005-017

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: Poland; fertility determinants; influence; interpersonal communication; social capital; social network;

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    References

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    1. Cox, Donald & Jimenez, Emmanuel & Okrasa, Wlodek, 1997. "Family Safety Nets and Economic Transition: A Study of Worker Households in Poland," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(2), pages 191-209, June.
    2. S. Philip Morgan, 2003. "Is low fertility a twenty-first-century demographic crisis?," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 589-603, November.
    3. Debra Friedman & Michael Hechter & Satoshi Kanazawa, 1994. "A theory of the value of children," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 375-401, August.
    4. Barbara Entwisle & Ronald Rindfuss & David Guilkey & Aphichat Chamratrithirong & Sara Curran & Yothin Sawangdee, 1996. "Community and contraceptive choice in rural Thailand: A case study of Nang Rong," Demography, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 1-11, February.
    5. Valente, Thomas W. & Watkins, Susan C. & Jato, Miriam N. & Van Der Straten, Ariane & Tsitsol, Louis-Philippe M., 1997. "Social network associations with contraceptive use among Cameroonian women in voluntary associations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(5), pages 677-687, September.
    6. Nan Marie Astone & Constance A. Nathanson & Robert Schoen & Young J. Kim, 1999. "Family Demography, Social Theory, and Investment in Social Capital," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 1-31.
    7. Frątczak, Ewa, 2004. "Family and Fertility in Poland: Changes during the Transition Period," Discussion Paper 206, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    8. Kohler, Hans-Peter, 2001. "Fertility and Social Interaction: An Economic Perspective," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199244591.
    9. Warren Miller, 1986. "Proception: An important fertility behavior," Demography, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 579-594, November.
    10. Hans-Peter Kohler & Jere R. Behrman & Susan Cotts Watkins, 1999. "The structure of social networks and fertility decisions: evidence from S. Nyanza District, Kenya," MPIDR Working Papers WP-1999-005, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
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    Cited by:
    1. Christoph Bühler, 2006. "On the structural value of children and its implication on intended fertility in Bulgaria," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Lareen Newman, 2009. "Do Socioeconomic Differences in Family Size Reflect Cultural Differences in Confidence and Social Support for Parenting?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 28(5), pages 661-691, October.

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