This chapter lays the theoretical and methodological foundation for the book, Reproductive decision-making in a macro-micro perspective. It introduces the issues addressed in the book and the European Commission Seventh Framework funded collaborative research project, REPRO, on which it is based. A brief overview of the recent trend toward low fertility in Europe and the gap between desired and achieved family size at national levels (known as the fertility gap) is provided. The theoretical argument which follows is that, to understand macro-level trends in fertility, a thorough knowledge of micro-processes and how the macro- and micro-levels are interrelated, is necessary. A model of relationships between macro- and micro-levels is presented before a brief discussion of macro-level modelling which, in addition to its benefits, is at risk of errors arising from compositional effects and the ecological fallacy. The social psychological Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB), the framework adapted for micro-level modelling in this book, is presented here in a form specific to reproductive decision making. The chapter also includes discussion of issues associated with satisfactory integration of macro- and micro-level information, focusing on the strengths and weaknesses of comparative micro-studies and multi-level modelling.
|Title of host publication
|Reproductive decision-making in a macro-micro environment
|D. Philipov, A.C. Liefbroer, J.E. Klobas
|Place of Publication
|Published - 2015