Secularization and fertility: evidence from Spain

Branas-Garza, Pablo and Neuman, Shoshana (2008) Secularization and fertility: evidence from Spain. In: Demographic Economics Research Perspectives. Gordeev, Pavel E., ed. Nova Science Publishers, pp. 43-74. ISBN 978-1-604-56054-1. [Book Section]


Since 1950 Spain has shown two parallel trends of dramatic drops in fertility and in religiosity (secularization). This paper explores the relationship between secularization and fertility among Spanish Catholics. We use a unique, rich, data set which includes various dimensions of religiosity: respondent’s religious affiliation; current church attendance (six levels); current prayer habits (eleven levels); spouse’s religious affiliation; parental religious affiliation; and parental (maternal and paternal)and respondent's church attendance during childhood (nine levels). The multi-facet data on religiosity (rather than a single dichotomous variable) allow for a sophisticated analysis, permitting rigorous conclusions to be drawn. The sample is restricted to married Catholic (female and male) respondents who were raised by Catholic parents and are married to a Catholic spouse in order to obtain a homogenous sample and to focus on the effect of the level (intensity) of religiosity (rather than religious affiliation) on fertility. Fertility is related to the various dimensions of religiosity; first using cross-tabulation and then using OLS regression.
Our results are substantive: i) We find that fertility is not related to the current intensity of religiosity. ii) Exposure to religious activities during childhood has a significant effect on women’s fertility (but not men). Interestingly, a father who rarely attended church services has a negative effect on his daughter’s future fertility

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > Business School > Economics
Item ID: 10515
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Depositing User: Pablo Branas Garza
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2013 09:45
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2018 14:06

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