Effects of economic uncertainty and socioeconomic status on reproductive timing: A life history approach

Kenneth Tan, Norman P. Li, Andrea L. Meltzer, Joel L.J. Chin, Lynn K.L. Tan, Amy J. Lim, Steven L. Neuberg, Mark van Vugt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100040
JournalCurrent Research in Ecological and Social Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Economic uncertainty
  • Life history theory
  • Reproductive timing
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Social Psychology
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of economic uncertainty and socioeconomic status on reproductive timing: A life history approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this