No More Babies Without Help? Spousal Division of Labor and Fertility Intentions in Taiwan

Yen-hsin Cheng , Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica
Chen-Hao Hsu, Academia Sinica

Recent empirical research has pointed out the positive influence of more egalitarian household division of labor on wives’ fertility intentions, yet such analyses have not been explored extensively in East Asia. This paper makes use of the reports of time spent on housework (i.e., domestic chore and childcare), income, and working hours from both wives and husbands in the latest wave of the Women’s Marriage, Fertility, and Employment Survey collected in 2016 in Taiwan. The analytical sample includes all married respondents with at least one child. The findings show that husbands of tertiary-educated wives share more domestic chores. Furthermore, wives’ fertility intentions beyond parity-one increase with more input from husbands in housework, and such effect is mainly driven by spousal aid in childcare. Such a fertility-enhancement effect is particularly salient among parity-one and tertiary-educated wives—who tend to be more economically empowered and to have more say in the family.

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 Presented in Session 1. Fertility, Family Planning, Sexual Behavior, & Reproductive Health 1