The concept of desired family size is widely accepted, and numerous studies have been undertaken to measure its level in certain population groups. The determination of desired family size has generally followed the direct question procedure through which the respondent states some whole number as representing her family size wishes at some specified period in her life. Limitations of this method have been recognized, and some research has been conducted toward the development of other techniques of measuring desired family size.
The purpose of this paper is to discuss a method of estimating desired family size based on the concept of paired comparison, where the response is restricted in order to reduce respondent bias. Emphasis is on estimation of parameters and test statistics appropriate for evaluating the applicability of the underlying model.