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

Marczak, Joanna and Sigle, Wendy and Coast, Ernestina (2018) When the grass is greener: fertility decisions in a cross-national context. Population Studies. ISSN 0032-4728

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00324728.2018.1439181

Abstract

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: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rpst20
Additional Information: © 2018 Population Investigation Committee
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Sets: Research centres and groups > Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU)
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2018 17:27
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2018 13:32
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/87168

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