Individual and Couple Utility of Children: Theoretical, Methodological, and Empirical Issues

1984| Working Paper No. 773

A comparison is made between two alternatives for explaining family size decisions: a psychological model based on the individual utilities of the spouses and a social psychological model based on the husbandwife relationship. By use of higher order factors within the context of structural equation models, it is shown that the two approaches can be derived as special cases of a single, integrative framework. In this way, a theory is developed and tested which explicitly represents the familysize decision process as both an individual and joint experience of the spouses.