Objective This study examines the effect of exposure to different economic narratives of the future on fertility intentions of Norwegian couples. Background Fertility patterns should not only be interpreted in relation to economic uncertainty conceptualized as objective constraints. One should also consider that subjective narratives of economic uncertainty may have a significant role in fertility decision-making. Method Data were collected from a controlled laboratory experiment of both partners in heterosexual couples in fall 2019 in Oslo, Norway (N = 838). The participants were randomly assigned to read either a negative or a positive future economic scenario, while a control group was not assigned to any scenario. Results The economic scenarios influenced couples' fertility intentions, with the negative scenario causing a clear decrease in fertility intentions and the positive scenario causing an increase in fertility intentions. Men and women responded in similar ways to the scenarios. The effect of exposure to the scenarios is not moderated by objective measures such as couple employment status and income, except in one case. Conclusion Our experimental setting demonstrates that people's fertility intentions are shaped by their subjective view of the future economic situation.

The impact of narratives of the future on fertility intentions in Norway

Minello, Alessandra;
2022

Abstract

Objective This study examines the effect of exposure to different economic narratives of the future on fertility intentions of Norwegian couples. Background Fertility patterns should not only be interpreted in relation to economic uncertainty conceptualized as objective constraints. One should also consider that subjective narratives of economic uncertainty may have a significant role in fertility decision-making. Method Data were collected from a controlled laboratory experiment of both partners in heterosexual couples in fall 2019 in Oslo, Norway (N = 838). The participants were randomly assigned to read either a negative or a positive future economic scenario, while a control group was not assigned to any scenario. Results The economic scenarios influenced couples' fertility intentions, with the negative scenario causing a clear decrease in fertility intentions and the positive scenario causing an increase in fertility intentions. Men and women responded in similar ways to the scenarios. The effect of exposure to the scenarios is not moderated by objective measures such as couple employment status and income, except in one case. Conclusion Our experimental setting demonstrates that people's fertility intentions are shaped by their subjective view of the future economic situation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3448007
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