The procreative behaviours of the generations born in 1942 - 1966 in Poland in the context of their plans and aspirations

Ewa Soja, Cracow University of Economics

This work tries to explain the nature of people’s procreative behaviours in the context of their plans and aspirations. The main thesis of this project is based on Easterlin’s statement that procreative decisions of young couples conform to their plans and aspirations. These are created in their families of origin and can be modified under the influence of the environment, in order to obtain the desired standard of living. The young couples assess the relative change to their welfare in relation to the standard of living of their families of origin. Therefore, relative income is an important condition of people’s behaviour. The goal of this work is to verify Easterlin’s ideas with reference to Polish generations born after the Second World War. Using data from the “Family and Fertility Survey 1991” (FFS), this study investigates the procreative behaviours employing methods of event history analysis. The examined behaviours are connected with the birth of the first, second, and third child. The wife’s education level and the husband’s socio-occupational group define the economic potential of the family, and the socio-occupational group of the husband’s father and the number of children born to the husband’s mother describe the family of origin. The findings illustrate that the population researched showed diverse procreative behaviours, which were to a large extent the result of differences in the absolute income of a family, determined by the economic potential of a married couple. Relative income determined procreative behaviours of the families of the lowest socio-occupational status. The influence of the generation’s size on the relative income and procreative behaviours was not observed. The results suggest that the Easterlin's hypothesis, in a selective way, explains procreative behaviours of the Polish generations. Namely, this applies to the environment of the lowest socio-occupational status.

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Presented in Poster Session 1