Abstract

The question, “Do you and your husband intend to have a (another) child?” has become standard on fertility surveys. It is almost always asked of the wife, but is treated as the couple’s joint intention. How reasonable is such an assumption? Do husbands’ and wives’ reports of couple intent correspond closely? Do spouses know the fertility wishes of their partners? Do they take these wishes into account when reporting couple intent? Analysis of a sample of fecund, white, urban U.S. couples shows each question answered affirmatively. Reports from either spouse appear to be good, although admittedly imperfect, indicators of couple intent.

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