Abstract. Ever since Becker's 1960 article on fertility, the economic approach has posited that the wife's wage rate and household income play predominant roles in fertility decisions. This study attempts to relate some social and cultural factors, including traditional value concepts and complexity of the family structure to the demand for children. Empirical findings with family survey data taken from Taiwan, the Republic of China, tend to support the view that fertility is better explained by a framework with a family structure and a sector dummy than one without. For public decision makers, findings of this kind suggest that preference heterogeneity, family structure complexity as well as the rural urban development trends should be explicitly taken into account in demographic policies aimed at family planning and overall quality of life enrichment.