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Family policies and fertility: Examining the link between family policy institutions and fertility rates in 33 countries 1995-2010
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Stockholms universitet.
2018 (English)In: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, ISSN 0144-333X, Vol. 38, no 11/12, p. 1057-1070Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the link between two different family policy dimensions – one supporting the combination of work and parenthood and one supporting stay-at-home mothers – and fertility rates between 1995 and 2011 in 33 industrialized countries.

Design/methodology/approach

Total fertility rates were regressed on the two policy dimensions, earner–carer support and traditional–family support, using pooled time-series analysis with country fixed effects and stepwise control for female labor force participation, unemployment rates and GDP.

Findings

The analyses show that earner–carer support is linked to higher fertility, while traditional–family support is not. Also, higher female labor force participation is linked to higher fertility before GDP is included. Conversely, higher unemployment is correlated with lower fertility levels. Sensitivity analyses with and without day care enrollment on a smaller set of countries show no influence of day care on the results for family policy.

Originality/value

The results give weight to the argument that family policies supporting the combination of work and parenthood could increase fertility in low-fertility countries, probably mediated in part by female labor force participation. Earnings-related earner–carer support incentivizes women to enter the labor force before parenthood and to return to work after time off with their newborn child, thus supporting a combination of work and parenthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 38, no 11/12, p. 1057-1070
Keywords [en]
Fertility, Family policies, Female labour force participation, Gender-egalitarian, Gender-traditional
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243137DOI: 10.1108/IJSSP-04-2018-0052OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-243137DiVA, id: diva2:789428
Available from: 2015-02-18 Created: 2015-02-04 Last updated: 2019-05-08
In thesis
1. Maybe Baby?: Reproductive Behaviour, Fertility Intentions, and Family Policies in Post-communist Countries, with a Special Focus on Ukraine
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Maybe Baby?: Reproductive Behaviour, Fertility Intentions, and Family Policies in Post-communist Countries, with a Special Focus on Ukraine
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies different aspects of reproductive behaviour on the international, national, and local levels in post-communist countries. The main focus is Ukraine, where fertility rates are very low and the population is in severe decline. The studies contribute new knowledge about the applicability of a family policy typology developed on the basis of Western countries’ experience for post-communist countries, and about the influence of family policies on fertility levels in these countries. Moreover, the studies investigate whether and how macro-level influences impact on individuals’ reproductive behaviour. Four articles are included in the thesis:

Family policies in Ukraine and Russia in comparative perspective analyses the institutional set-up of family policies in both countries and compares the findings to 31 other countries. The results show that Ukrainian family policies support a male-breadwinner type of family, while the benefit levels of Russian family policies are low, compelling families to rely on relatives or the childcare market.

Family policies and fertility - Examining the link between family policy institutions and fertility rates in 33 countries 1995-2010 comparatively explores whether family policies have an effect on fertility rates across the case-countries. Pooled time-series regression analysis demonstrates that gender-egalitarian family policies are connected to higher fertility rates, but that this effect is smaller at higher rates of female labour force participation.

To have or not to have a child? Perceived constraints on childbearing in a lowest-low fertility context investigates the influence of the perception of postmodern values, childcare availability and environmental pollution on individuals’ fertility intentions in a city in Eastern Ukraine. It is shown that women who already have a child perceive environmental pollution as a constraint on their fertility intentions.

Prevalence and correlates of the use of contraceptive methods by women in Ukraine in 1999 and 2007 examines changes in the prevalence and the correlates of the use of contraceptive methods. The use of modern contraceptive methods increased during the period and the use of traditional methods decreased, while the overall prevalence did not change. Higher exposure to messages about family planning in the media is correlated with the use of modern contraceptive methods.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. p. 64
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 109
Keywords
Family policies, Family planning, Environmental pollution, Fertility rates, Fertility intentions, Contraceptive methods, Ukraine
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-243140 (URN)978-91-554-9170-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-04-17, MB503, Södertörns högskola, Alfred Nobels Allé 7, Huddinge, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-02-04 Last updated: 2015-04-17

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Wesolowski, Katharina

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