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The opportunity costs of childbearing: More than mothers' business

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  • Heather Joshi

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    (Social Statistics Research Unit, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V OHB, UK)

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    Abstract

    This paper is an argument about gender relations. It takes the entwined themes of men`s interests in parenthood, the sex division of labour and its evolution, policy for gender equity and policy to support the level of social reproduction. The emphasis on women`s employment as a determinant of low fertility has to be supplemented by an examination of the assumption that only women`s time use is affected by child-rearing. Many forces tend to concentrate fathers` involvement on breadwinning, but they are not immutable and are already changing. It should be in the interests of promoting social reproduction, as well as gender equity, for policy interventions to facilitate complementarities in parenting and in its combination with paid work. Descriptive evidence about the paid and unpaid work of couples and parents is presented, largely secondary material from the UK.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

    Volume (Year): 11 (1998)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 161-183

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:11:y:1998:i:2:p:161-183

    Note: Received: 13 June 1996 / Accepted: 27 June, 1997
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    Related research

    Keywords: Sex division of labour · fertility · fathers · gender relations · gender equity · time budgets;

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    Cited by:
    1. Martin Werding, 2014. "Children are costly, but raising them may pay," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 30(8), pages 253-276, January.
    2. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2002. "A Multilevel Analysis of Child Care and the Transition to Motherhood in Western Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 290, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Anne Bustreel & Tomo Nishimura, 2004. "Les coûts d'opportunité des enfants. Une comparaison Japon-France," Innovations, De Boeck Université, vol. 20(2), pages 163-177.
    4. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-06 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Urban Sila & Ricardo Sousa, 2014. "Windfall gains and labour supply: evidence from the European household panel," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 1-27, December.
    6. Arnstein Aassve & Alice Goisis & Maria Sironi, 2012. "Happiness and Childbearing Across Europe," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 65-86, August.
    7. Karsten Hank & Michaela Kreyenfeld, 2001. "Childcare and fertility in (western) Germany," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-019, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    8. Ann-Zofie Duvander & Gunnar Andersson, 2005. "Gender Equality and Fertility in Sweden: A Study on the Impact of the Father’s Uptake of Parental Leave on Continued Childbearing," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2005-013, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    9. Christian Dudel, 2009. "The Demographic Dilemma: Fertility, Female Labor Force Participation and Future Growth in Germany 2007-2060," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 158, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    10. FFF1Livia Sz. NNN1Oláh & FFF2Ewa NNN2Fratczak, 2004. "Becoming a Mother in Hungary and Poland during State Socialism," Demographic Research Special Collections, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 3(9), pages 213-244, April.
    11. Gunnar Andersson & Ann-Zofie Duvander & Karsten Hank, 2004. "Erwerbsstatus und Familienentwicklung in Schweden aus paarbezogener Perspektive," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2004-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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