Two or three children? Turkish fertility at a crossroads.

In Turkey, female employment and education are still relatively low, while fertility levels are high compared to other European countries. However, Turkey stands on the brink of an important social transition. Increasing female education and employment are being accompanied by important decreases in fertility. By mobilizing census and survey data (SILC), we find that parents’ decision for or against a third child is of particular importance for fertility levels in Turkey. Graduate women participating in the formal labor market are most likely to decide against larger family size in comparison to inactive or unemployed women. Their contribution to household income seems to be important and cannot be given up, especially if the couple already has two children. Policies enabling women to combine work and family life, which have been proven effective in other European countries, emerge therefore as useful to avoid fertility declining below replacement levels in Turkey.

Article written by Angela Greulich, Aruélien Dasre and Ceren Inan

“Two or Three Children? Turkish Fertility at a Crossroads”  Population and Development Review, 42(3): 537-559, September 2016.


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