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This study investigates the importance of the effect of an individual's web of informal relationships with family and peers on the intention to have a second or third child. Drawing on sociological theories of social capital (help with childcare, emotional support) and social pressure, the study extends existing research by evaluating cross-national differences (between France, Germany, and Bulgaria) in the impact of personal network and institutional circumstances. It tests a non-linear relationship between social capital and fertility intentions. Social pressure and social capital are highly institutionally filtered, with the impact of personal network stronger where institutions are less family-supportive.

Original publication




Journal article


Popul Stud (Camb)

Publication Date





335 - 351


Birth Order, Bulgaria, Female, Fertility, France, Germany, Humans, Intention, Male, Parturition, Pregnancy, Social Support, Socioeconomic Factors