The economic crisis and desires for children and marriage in Thailand

Noriko O. Tsuya, Napaporn Chayovan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study examines the relationships between young Thai women's and men's experiences of economic difficulties due to the economic crisis and their desires for marriage and children, using data from a recent national survey on the economic crisis and demographic and family dynamics. The study found that the experiences of economic hardships due to the crisis were widespread among Thai women and men in their 20s and 30s, although there were considerable gender, regional, and urban-rural differences in the extent of experiencing such hardships. Our multivariate analyses reveal that the effects of the crisis on desires for children and marriage were diverse and indirect. Desired fertility of married women aged 25-39 was reduced, not by their own experiences of economic hardships, but by their husbands'. This implies that the husband's employment is a major factor in determining a woman's perception of the financial feasibility of having children and suggests that, if prolonged, the crisis could lead to lower martial fertility in Thailand. Marriage desires of young unmarried women aged 20-34 were dampened, not by their own hardships, but their mothers' economic difficulties, hinting that the widely documented close emotional ties between mothers and daughters in Thailand may have played a role.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-349
Number of pages23
JournalSoutheast Asian Studies
Volume40
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec 1

Keywords

  • Desired fertility
  • Marriage desires
  • Thailand
  • The economic crisis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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