Abstract

This study relates fertility behavior to modern economic behavior, namely, saving and consumption of modern durables, for a sample of couples in Taiwan. It uses only couples who say they want no more children, and these couples are further classified by current use of contraception and by whether or not they already had excess fertility. Couples who are successful fertility planners, i.e., those who have no unwanted children and are current users of contraception, are distinctive with regard to modern economic behavior as compared to couples who do not use contraception or have excess fertility. Successful planners are more likely to save and to have more modern durables; these differentials remain when adjustments are made for the effects of family income, wife’s age, wife’s education, and duration of marriage. It seems that the kind of planning behavior which enables a couple to successfully plan their family size also enables them to manage their economic affairs so that they can save and enjoy more modern consumption goods.

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