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How Well Do Desired Fertility Measures for Wives and Husbands Predict Subsequent Fertility?

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  • Julie DaVanzo
  • Christine E. Peterson
  • Nathan R. Jones
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    Abstract

    The authors examine responses to two fertility preference questions -- regarding whether more children are wanted and desired total family size (compared to actual family size) -- that were asked of women and their husbands as part of the First Malaysian Family Life Survey fielded in 1976-77 and see how well these preferences (and the consistency between them) predict the women's subsequent fertility, as reported in the Second Malaysian Family Life Survey, fielded 12 years later. Women who said (and whose husbands said) in 1977 that they wanted more children were much more likely to have a birth than those who said they did not want more. If there was disagreement between spouses, the husband's preferences appear to play a stronger role in predicting the likelihood of a subsequent birth. The authors investigate how events during the 12-year period between the surveys, e.g., the death of a child, affect the relationship between fertility preferences and subsequent fertility outcomes.

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    File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/drafts/2008/DRU3013.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 03-16.

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    Length: 34 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2003
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:03-16

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    1. Pong, S.L., 1994. "Sex Preference and Fertility in Peninsular Malaysia," Papers 94-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
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    Cited by:
    1. Rasul, Imran, 2008. "Household bargaining over fertility: Theory and evidence from Malaysia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 215-241, June.

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