The Effects of Sibling Structure on Fertility Decision in Taiwan

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 8:30 AM
Room: 413
Oral Presentation
Chih-Lung HSIEH , Development of Public and Cultural Affairs, National Taitung University, Taitung, Taiwan
Drawing from theories of son preference and family resources, this paper attempts to construct a sequential fertility model, and then uses it to estimate the probability of parents’ fertility decisions of their first few children by the sibling structure and to elaborate the effects of various socio-demographic factors in Taiwan. The data used in the analysis come from the PSFD (Panel Study of Family Dynamics) in which respondents were born between 1934 and 1986 in Taiwan. The main findings are as follows. Firstly, the sibling structure has a significant effect on fertility decision. Secondly, the gender-balance hypothesis is rejected, whereas the son-preference hypothesis is supported. Parents with daughters in their first two or three births have a great likelihood to have a next child. Thirdly, son preference and son investment have an opposite effect on fertility decision. The number of sons tends to reduce the likelihood of parents to have a child. Fourthly, the hypothesis of social stratification is rejected. Parents of different status groups make similar fertility decisions. Fifthly, the data didn’t support the cohort hypothesis, because the patterns of fertility decisions by different cohorts appear the same. Finally, the significant effect of sibling structure indicates that fertility decisions are made in a sequential decision-making process in Taiwan.