Parental Childcare Support, Sibship Status, and Mothers’ Second-Child Plans in Urban China

Menghan Zhao , Renmin University of China
Yang Zhang, University of Michigan

Both the intergenerational transmission of fertility and the influence of parental support on adult children’s childbearing behavior have long been recognized in the literature. Nevertheless, the interrelation between these two mechanisms and its impacts on fertility decisions remain less studied. Using data collected in the era of the two-child policy in urban China, this study analyzes the impacts of parental childcare provision on mothers’ plans for a second child. The results show that, although parental services with raising the first child increase the probability of planning for a second child, husbands’ sibship status moderates this intergenerational influence. Further analysis suggests that the primary childcare providers are related to couples’ sibship status. Also, the structure of wives’ families of origin is associated with the possibility of getting childcare support from their husbands’ parents. This suggests that extended families might decide about the main childcare provider collectively in contemporary China.

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 Presented in Session 209. Fertility Intentions and Dynamics in Marriages and Families