Population Research and Policy Review

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 393–418 | Cite as

Failure to Realize Fertility Intentions: A Key Aspect of the Post-communist Fertility Transition

  • Zsolt SpéderEmail author
  • Balázs Kapitány


Our paper focuses on the realization of fertility intentions, exploring a new aspect of the post-communist fertility transition. By making use of a follow-up study, it was possible to compare five European countries and to analyze the chances of realizing short-term, time-dependent fertility intentions. There is always a difference between intention and behavior. It is partly due to demographic and social factors, such as age, parity, partnership status, but once these are accounted for, important differences remain between western European and post-communist countries. In the period after the turn of the millennium, chances of realizing intentions are significantly lower in post-communist countries than in western European countries. The lower chance of realization is a consequence of social anomie originating from discrepancy between slow value shift and the increased dynamism of structural changes.


Fertility intention Fertility Post-communist fertility transition Longitudinal study in fertility 



The research was carried out as part of the EU FP7 project “Reproductive decision making in a macro-micro perspective (REPRO)”, Grant Agreement: SSH-2007- 3.1.2-217173, and the Hungarian Research Fund (OTKA) supported the completion of this study (No. NN776648). We benefited from discussions with research fellows of the REPRO project. We thank especially Arland Thornton and anonymous reviewers for useful comments and suggestions on previous drafts. A period spent at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock enabled finalization of the paper


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hungarian Demographic Research InstituteBudapestHungary

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