A theory of the value of children

Debra Friedman, Michael Hechter, Satoshi Kanazawa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

This paper uses a non-standard value assumption-uncertainty reduction-to explain parenthood. We begin by reviewing the inadequacies of normative and standard rational choice explanations of shifts in fertility behavior. Then we propose a theory of the value of children based on the uncertainty-reduction assumption. Next we generate a range of hypotheses that follow both from this assumption and from a subsidiary assumption of marital solidarity enhancement. Finally, we explore the extent to which implications based on these new ideas are supported by the relevant empirical literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRational Choice Sociology
Subtitle of host publicationEssays on Theory, Collective Action and Social Order
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Pages26-52
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781789903256
ISBN (Print)9781789903249
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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  • Cite this

    Friedman, D., Hechter, M., & Kanazawa, S. (2019). A theory of the value of children. In Rational Choice Sociology: Essays on Theory, Collective Action and Social Order (pp. 26-52). Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd..