1Department of Management and Health Economics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2Department of Demography, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran
3Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Background During the last three decades, the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) in Iran has fallen considerably; from 6.5 per woman in 1983 to 1.89 in 2010. This paper analyzes the extent to which economic determinants at the micro and macro levels are associated with the number of children in Iranian households.
Methods Household data from the 2010 Household Expenditure and Income Survey (HEIS) is linked to provincial data from the 2010 Iran Multiple-Indicator Demographic and Health Survey (IrMIDHS), the National Census of Population and Housing conducted in 1986, 1996, 2006 and 2011, and the 1985–2010 Iran statistical year books. Fertility is measured as the number of children in each household. A random intercept multilevel Poisson regression function is specified based on a collective model of intra-household bargaining power to investigate potential determinants of the number of children in Iranian households.
Results Ceteris paribus (other things being equal), probability of having more children drops significantly as either real per capita educational expenditure or real total expenditure of each household increase. Both the low- and the high-income households show probabilities of having more children compared to the middle-income households. Living in provinces with either higher average amount of value added of manufacturing establishments or lower average rate of house rent is associated to higher probability of having larger number of children. Higher levels of gender gap indices, resulting in household’s wife’s limited power over household decision-making, positively affect the probability of having more children.
Conclusion Economic determinants at the micro and macro levels, distribution of intra-household bargaining power between spouses and demographic covariates determined fertility behavior of Iranian households.
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