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Social Capital Related to Fertility: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evidence from Bulgaria

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  • Christoph Bühler
  • Dimiter Philipov

Abstract

Interpersonal relationships of support have been found to be an important factor in individual fertility intentions in Central and Eastern European countries. The foundations of this positive influence have not been well explored to date, however. We present a theoretical discussion on exchange-based social capital and argue that processes of interpersonal exchange are relevant for reproductive decisions when they provide access to resources that help to reduce the costs of having children and stabilise the economic situation of a household. Data from 2002 on the fertility intentions of 2,016 Bulgarian women support our argument. The availability of important and substantive resources has a positive impact on women's intentions to have a second or third child and their timing of having a first or second child. The embededness in kin-based exchange systems of indirect reciprocity shows similar positive effects and highlights especially the significance of parents as a source of intergenerational transfers and support.

Suggested Citation

  • Christoph Bühler & Dimiter Philipov, 2005. "Social Capital Related to Fertility: Theoretical Foundations and Empirical Evidence from Bulgaria," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 3(1), pages 53-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:3:y:2005:i:1:p:53-81
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    Cited by:

    1. Soo-Yeon Yoon, 2017. "The influence of a supportive environment for families on women’s fertility intentions and behavior in South Korea," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 36(7), pages 227-254, January.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:dem:demres:v:36:y:2017:i:62 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Christoph Bühler, 2008. "On the structural value of children and its implication on intended fertility in Bulgaria," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 18(20), pages 569-610, June.
    5. Abhishek Kumar & Valeria Bordone & Raya Muttarak, 2016. "Like Mother(-in-Law) Like Daughter? Influence of the Older Generation’s Fertility Behaviours on Women’s Desired Family Size in Bihar, India," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(5), pages 629-660, December.

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