Social Capital and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Poland

Christoph Buehler, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Ewa Fratczak, Warsaw School of Economics

The material situation of the household is one basic determinant of fertility decisions. Within demographic research, this situation is primarily expressed in terms of monetary income and wealth. However, beside economic capital also social capital may be an important factor for fertility-related decision making and behavior, especially in societies that face economic uncertainty. The paper explores the impact of the availability of social capital on individual fertility intentions in Poland in 2001. Social capital is measured with the help of individual embeddedness in networks of giving and receiving support. Results based on 328 married respondents that are at risk to get a second child show a positive influence of the size of these networks on fertility intentions. This influence is on the hand caused by the number of parents in these networks, but on the other hand also by the number of supportive friends and colleagues.

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Presented in Session 169: Fertility and Social Inequality in Developed Countries