Publication


Eva Beaujouan
Counting how many children people want: The influence of question filters and pre-codes
Demografia, 2014
URL, JabRef BibTex, Abstract
The Generation and Gender Surveys (GSS) are now widely used to study family, notably fertility, partnerships and fertility intentions, as evidenced by the number of recent papers using the data. The quality of the fertility and partnership histories has been evaluated and found reasonable in a majority of European countries. However, the quality and cross-country comparability of fertility intentions across all GGS countries has not yet been assessed. In the context of a broader piece of work on aggregate intended family size in Europe, we present the general structure of questions on intentions in the original questionnaire template, and a cross-national comparison of actual setups. Using two examples, we assess how pre-filters and response categories can affect (a) the proportion of persons declaring that they wish to remain childless, and (b) the mean number of children intended. We provide advice on dealing with intention questions in current studies and recommendations for future surveys. Overall, we propose simplification of the questions concerning the intended number of children, and to dissociate the questions on short-term and life-long intentions.

Reference


@article{Beaujouan2014a,
  author = {Eva Beaujouan},
  title = {Counting how many children people want: The influence of question filters and pre-codes},
  year = {2014},
  journal = {Demografia},
  volume = {56},
  number = {5},
  pages = {35-61},
  month = {Jun},
  url = {http://www.demografia.hu/en/downloads/Demografia-English-Edition/DEE2013_56_5_Beaujouan.pdf},
  timestamp = {01.07.2014},
  abstract = {The Generation and Gender Surveys (GSS) are now widely used to study family, notably fertility, partnerships and fertility intentions, as evidenced by the number of recent papers using the data. The quality of the fertility and partnership histories has been evaluated and found reasonable in a majority of European countries. However, the quality and cross-country comparability of fertility intentions across all GGS countries has not yet been assessed. In the context of a broader piece of work on aggregate intended family size in Europe, we present the general structure of questions on intentions in the original questionnaire template, and a cross-national comparison of actual setups. Using two examples, we assess how pre-filters and response categories can affect (a) the proportion of persons declaring that they wish to remain childless, and (b) the mean number of children intended. We provide advice on dealing with intention questions in current studies and recommendations for future surveys. Overall, we propose simplification of the questions concerning the intended number of children, and to dissociate the questions on short-term and life-long intentions.}
}

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