Individual- and Macro-Level Determinants of Birth Intentions in Bulgaria: a Multi-Level Analysis Based on Survey- and Contextual Data of the Generations and Gender Program

Martin Spielauer, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

After the 1989 transition, Bulgarian fertility dropped rapidly due to postponement of births and a decrease of second and higher order births, whereas childlessness remained low. In this study we aim at contributing to the understanding of the underlying fertility decision process and its individual- and macro level determinants. We especially emphasize economic variables and social capital as determinants of fertility intentions. In the case of social capital, we stress that it is not only an important resource, but that having children also creates social capital and is seen as an investment in this sense. We find considerable differences in the contribution of the different factors by sex and birth order. Concerning sex-differences, we find higher first birth intentions for females, while males rather postpone. Concerning second births, we observe the opposite pattern: it is the women who make another birth dependent on a series of factors and preconditions.

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Presented in Poster Session 1: Fertility, Family Planning, Reproductive Health