This paper investigates the associations between preferred family size of women in rural Bihar, India and the fertility behaviours of their mother and mother-in-law. Scheduled interviews of 440 pairs of married women aged 16–34 years and their mothers-in-law were conducted in 2011. Preferred family size is first measured by Coombs scale, allowing us to capture latent desired number of children and then categorized into three categories (low, medium and high). Women’s preferred family size is estimated using ordered logistic regression. We find that the family size preferences are not associated with mother’s fertility but with mother’s education. Mother-in-law’s desired number of grandchildren is positively associated with women’s preferred family size. However, when the woman has higher education than her mother-in-law, her preferred family size gets smaller, suggesting that education provides women with greater autonomy in their decision-making on childbearing.
- Coombs scale
- Desired family size
- Fertility preference
- Intergenerational transmission