Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/147820
Title: MAYBE, BABY? EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS ON FERTILITY DECISION-MAKING IN SINGAPORE
Authors: CHERYL SIM SU LING
Keywords: Behavioural heuristics, Cognitive Biases, Fertility decision-making, Lowest-low fertility, Prospect Theory, Present Bias, Theory of Planned Behaviour
Issue Date: 2013
Citation: CHERYL SIM SU LING (2013). MAYBE, BABY? EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATIONS ON FERTILITY DECISION-MAKING IN SINGAPORE. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The persistence of lowest-low fertility in today’s developed world has generated significant interest in the fertility decision-making process. While many studies adopt a rational perspective towards fertility decision-making, there is increasing evidence that a behavioural approach is necessary to account for the irrationalities of fertility decisions. This is especially the case in Singapore, where fertility rates have remained low despite generous incentives and policies. To this end, this study explores the influence of behavioural heuristics on the child number and child timing intentions of a sample of 75 Chinese Singaporeans. Adopting a conceptual framework influenced by Azjen’s (1991) Theory of Planned Behaviour, the study proposes a twodimensional schema that synthesises the effects of behavioural heuristics across the dimensions of present and future, incorporating these effects into the fertility decision-making process. The study yields three overarching findings: firstly, the results highlight that individuals’ child number intentions and child timing intentions are predicted by separate background variables. Secondly, while behavioural heuristics strongly influence individuals’ perceptions of loss across both present and future dimensions, they have limited influence on individuals’ perceptions of gain. Moreover, individuals’ socio-economic, individual and environmental characteristics predict the extent to which they exhibit the influence of behavioural heuristics in their decisions. Thirdly, the study reveals that individuals’ child number intentions are fully accounted for by their assessment of the benefits of having a child. Following an elucidation of these findings, this paper proposes several theoretical and policy implications, and offers new dimensions for further research.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/147820
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