Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

When the grass is greener: fertility decisions in a cross-national context

Marczak, Joanna ORCID: 0000-0002-6955-1180, Sigle, Wendy ORCID: 0000-0002-8450-960X and Coast, Ernestina ORCID: 0000-0002-8703-307X (2018) When the grass is greener: fertility decisions in a cross-national context. Population Studies, 72 (2). 201 - 216. ISSN 0032-4728

Text (Marczak_Single_Coast_Grass is greener_2018.pdf) - Accepted Version
Download (649kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1080/00324728.2018.1439181


In research and policy discourse, conceptualizations of fertility decision-making often assume that people only consider circumstances within national borders. In an integrated Europe, citizens may know about and compare conditions across countries. Such comparisons may influence the way people think about, and respond to, childrearing costs. To explore this possibility and its implications, we present evidence from 44 in-depth interviews with Polish parents in the UK and Poland. Explanations of childbearing decisions involve comparisons of policy packages and living standards across countries. Individuals in Poland used richer European countries as an important reference point, rather than the (recent) Polish past. In contrast, migrants often positively assessed their relatively disadvantaged circumstances by using Polish setting as a reference. The findings could help explain why, despite substantial policy efforts, fertility has remained at very low levels in low-fertility, poorer European countries, while migrants from those countries often have higher fertility abroad.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 Population Investigation Committee
Divisions: Social Policy
Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2018 17:27
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2024 01:12

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics