Population and Environment

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 43–58 | Cite as

The differential effects of husbands' and wives' statuses on marital fertility

  • Philip Q. Yang


As an extension of prior subjectively-oriented studies that predicted couples' fertility decisions or outcomes by the expected costs and benefits of childbearing to husbands and wives, this article examines the differentiated effects of husbands' and wives' objective statuses on marital fertility, using the cumulative 1972–1990 GSS data. An interesting finding is that wives' education has a significant, negative effect on fertility while the effect of husbands' education is positive and statistically insignificant. This suggests that the generalization of the negative effect of education on fertility may be misleading if one fails to make a distinction between marital partners. Meanwhile, this study finds no significant differences in the effects of husbands' and wives' occupational and work statuses on fertility. By and large, the husbands' status variables add little information to the models explaining fertility. It is also found that the effects of husbands' and wives' statuses are contingent upon their relative education.


Differential Effect Work Status Objective Status Marital Fertility Fertility Decision 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Q. Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of California (Los Angeles)Los Angeles

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