Fertility in Societies That Have Passed Demographic Transition: Values As Indicator and Factor of Fertility

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Elise Richter Saal (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Dmitry ZAKOTYANSKY, LCSR, National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE), Russia
The work is devoted to studying the relationship between values and fertility in societies that have passed demographic transition. The author carries out a detailed analysis of the evolution of the theory of demographic transition and focuses on how the issue of values was addressed in works of Landry, Notestein, Caldwell, Coale, Lesthaeghe & Van de Kaa and other demographers. Further, he analyzes modern research in the field of fertility factors and concludes what role values may play as a factor and what theoretical connection may be between values and reproductive behavior. Then, the author formulates a hypothesis about the relationship between values and fertility, assuming that conservative values may indeed have significant causal effect on fertility intentions to have another child. These hypothesis and theoretical concepts were tested using European Social Survey of 2010 with key question “Do you plan to have a child within the next three years?” Second births were chosen because of the significant effect they have on reproduction of the European population and substantial differences in parity progression ratios among European countries. Logistic regression modelling included such control variables as age, marital status, education, health, income level, age of the first child, region of a country (Northern-Western Europe, Southern-Central Europe, Eastern Catholic Europe, Eastern Orthodox Europe). Additionally, an effect of trust to the state was theoretically studied, tested and taken into account. Results showed that, indeed, there is a connection between the values of tradition and reproductive behavior: more conservative women tend to have noticeably stronger intentions for having a second child. The results may look expected, but the methodology of the research along with theoretical basis gives us this time more reasonable grounds to state­ that values may indeed affect fertility and causality on individual level does exist.