Two Say More than One? The Couple as Unit of Analysis of Fertility Decisions

Irene Casique, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and University of California, San Diego

Two main goals lead this work: first, to establish the couple's characteristics that play a significant role in some fertility decisions like timing of births and use of contraception in Mexico; and second, to evaluate the goodness of the couple approach, in terms of what it adds --and what it misses -- comparing to an individual perspective. The data comes from the Mexican National Survey on Reproductive Health 1998; 1,604 couples with both members surveyed constitute the sub-sample used. Preliminary logistic regression results suggest that it is disagreement more than agreement between wife and husband on reproductive goals and desires what promotes the adoption of contraceptive use among these couples. Additionally, disagreement on a last child birth and its timing is decreased by husband-wife communication, a larger schooling of husbands (relative to wives), and a larger knowledge on contraception of wives (compared to husbands), but enlarged by cohabitation and large differences in age between spouses.

  See paper

Presented in Session 154: Gender and Fertility Decision-Making