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Grant Miller: Managerial Incentives in Public Service Delivery

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Fertility and Income, Consumption Aspirations, and Child Quality Standards

Publication Abstract

Thornton, Arland. 1979. "Fertility and Income, Consumption Aspirations, and Child Quality Standards." Demography, 16(2): 157-75.

Data from a 1975 national survey of the American population were used to investigate the relationships between childbearing and aspirations for consumption goods, child quality standards, and income. The data were consistent with the hypothesis that preferences for child quality are negatively related to fertility. Aspirations for consumer goods which are related to the home were not found to be negatively related to childbearing while aspirations for nonhome goods were negatively related to fertility as hypothesized. Several indicators of income and subjective economic well-being were examined, and the overall pattern of results was not supportive of the hypothesized effect of income on fertility.

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