The Expectation That Children Will Raise the Social Capital of Their Parents and Its Impact on Fertility Intentions: First Results from Bulgaria

Christoph Buehler, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

One motivation for having children is a possible improvement of parent's social capital. Children raise the willingness of other people to support the parents, they strengthen the relationships between parents and relatives and they intensify the relationship between the partners. This improvement might be of special importance in times of economic and social uncertainty, like the transition periods in Central and Eastern European countries. Data from a representative survey of Bulgarian people at childbearing age, carried out in 2002, support this hypothesis. Ordinal logistic regressions on the respondents' intentions to have a child show that both men and women perceive the first child as a source of support at old age. Both also expect that a second or a third child will improve the relationship to the partner. Moreover, men tend to expect that a second or a third child will intensify the relationships to their parents and relatives.

Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility Determinants, Family Planning, and Sexual Behavior