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Family Size Preferences and Decision Making Process in Odisha, India
Authors: Harihar Sahoo
Source: Journal of Comparative family studies, 45(3): 331-350
Topic(s): Family planning
Country: Asia
Published: JUL 2014
Abstract: The decision on the number of children is taken within the household decision making framework. One argument states that, the rising costs and declining economic value of children drives couples to go for smaller families. The other major economic argument states that, it is in parent's best interest to have large number of children in any agrarian or poor economic setting, where children can be put to work to contribute to the household income. Therefore, in this study an attempt has been made to capture the economic effects in a poor state of India i.e. Odisha, where sustained fertility decline has occurred in spite of unfavourable conditions. Data for the study are drawn from National Family Health Survey and also from a primary survey carried in one district of Odisha. The result demonstrated that the desire to stop child bearing increases rapidly with the number of living children. Multiple classification analysis shows that caste, educational level, standard of living of the household, exposure to mass media and number of living son are important determinants of desire family size. It is also evident that in spite of widespread poverty in the state the economic provision of the government is not a precondition for the decision of number of children. The result show that the thresholds have fallen because of the changing value of children; cost of raising them has increased and child participation in work force has decreased. Such changes have occurred because of diffusion of ideas. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]