Why fertility intentions remain unrealized? A case study inBulgaria

Dimiter Philipov, Vienna Institute of Demography
Maria Rita Testa, Vienna Institute of Demography

This paper is part of the international EU project FERTINT which aims to investigate the conditions that lead about the realisation or non-realisation of fertility intentions. We studied the intentions to have a child within the next two years in Bulgaria using panel data from 2002 and 2005 as well as register data about vital events. This definition of intentions implies that their non-realisation may indicate either a postponement of a planned birth or its rejection. We provide descriptive analyses of intentions specified by intensity and order of intended birth, separately for men, women, and couples. Intentions not to have a child are more likely to get realised. Intentions for a first child are homogeneous in the couple, intentions for a second child are less homogeneous and less likely to be realised. We search for an explanation of the realisation of intentions applying multivariate models. The explanatory variables include composite variables constructed according to the theory of planned behaviour, as well as other variables. The analyses refer to: (i) factors that influenced the construction of intentions, and (ii) changing factors between the two waves. The results bring diverse useful information mainly in the first type of analyses.

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Presented in Session 31: Fertility Intentions and their Realisation