Effects of economic uncertainty and socioeconomic status on reproductive timing: A life history approach
Tan, K., Li, N. P., Meltzer, A. L., Chin, J. L., Tan, L. K., Lim, A. J., ... & van Vugt, M. (2022). Effects of economic uncertainty and socioeconomic status on reproductive timing: A life history approach. Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, 3, 100040.
Why do some people have children earlier compared to others who delay reproduction? Drawing from an evolutionary, life history theory perspective, we posited that reproductive timing could be influenced by economic uncertainty and childhood socioeconomic status (SES). For individuals lower in childhood SES, economic uncertainty influenced the desire to reproduce earlier compared to individuals higher in childhood SES. Furthermore, the decision regarding reproductive timing was influenced by tradeoffs between earlier reproduction or furthering one’s education or career. Overall, economic uncertainty appears to shift individuals into different life history strategies as a function of childhood SES, suggesting how ecological factors and early life environment can influence fertility-related decisions at the individual level and may contribute to the highly variable fertility patterns observed across countries.