Do Statements about Desired Family Size Predict Fertility? The Case of Taiwan, 1967-1970
Freedman, Ronald, Albert Hermalin, and Ming-Cheng Chang. 1975. "Do Statements about Desired Family Size Predict Fertility? The Case of Taiwan, 1967-1970." Demography, 12(3): 407-16.
The predictive accuracy of respondents' statements about their future fertility is examined, using interview data from a longitudinal study conducted in Taiwan. Two measures of preference are found to be highly intercorrelated; and regardless of which one is used, Taiwanese women are shown to predict their subsequent fertility at least as well as U.S. women. The preference measures are also predictive of rates of contraceptive use and abortion. While demographic and social characteristics are correlated with fertility in expected directions, statements about wanting more children prove to be highly predictive of subsequent fertility for both modern and less advanced segments of the population.