University of Cambridge > > Department of Sociology Seminar Series > When the grass is greener: fertility intentions in a transnational context

When the grass is greener: fertility intentions in a transnational context

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Abstract Numerous academic studies have examined whether policies can increase fertility in European countries. Thus far, the evidence from quantitative studies is mixed. Moreover, evidence from case studies of very low fertility countries such as Poland indicate that the introduction or expansion of numerous fertility-friendly policies has had limited impact. In analysing the association between policies and fertility demographers examine variables at national level, but given recent opportunities for free movement in the EU, it is likely that individuals attend to the levels of support provided in other nations as well as their own. Based on in-depth semi-structured interviews (n=42) with Polish men and women in UK and Poland, we illustrate that when explaining their childbearing decisions, individuals frequently make reference to how policy packages and standards of living in Poland compare to those of other countries. A sense of relative deprivation resulting from cross-national comparisons could dampen any positive effects of policies aimed at reducing the costs of childbearing.

This talk is part of the Department of Sociology Seminar Series series.

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