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What Future for Europe? New perspectives in post-industrial fertility issues

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    Abstract

    Europe has undergone profound changes in fertility behaviour in the last decades. After years of falling fertility, it seems that we have now reached a phase of stabilisation in most countries of the European Union. However, stabilisation has occurred at very different levels in different part of Europe. Looking for explanations for these differences should help us to understand the underlying factors behind fertility behaviour in post- industrial societies. Limited time being one of the most fundamental constraints in post-industrial societies, we focus on the opportunity cost of childbearing as the main fertility-inhibiting factor. Therefore, particular attention is devoted to the relationship between female paid employment and fertility and to the gender division of work within households. The division of work between men and women seems to be the result of a bargaining process between partners where relative bargaining positions are defined by social norms and relative earnings. Eventually, we argue that the relative distribution of the opportunity cost of childbearing between genders affects fertility levels across Europe.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for Futures Studies in its series Arbetsrapport with number 2003:7.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2003_007

    Note: ISBN 91-89655-36-2
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    Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
    Phone: 08-402 12 00
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    Web page: http://www.framtidsstudier.se
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    Keywords: Fertility levels Europe;

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    1. Michael Bittman, 1999. "Parenthood Without Penalty: Time Use And Public Policy In Australia And Finland," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 27-42.
    2. Cristina Carrasco & Arantxa RodrIguez, 2000. "Women, Families, and Work in Spain: Structural Changes and New Demands," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 45-57.
    3. Barbara Bergmann, 1995. "Becker's theory of the family: Preposterous conclusions," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 141-150.
    4. Ermisch, John F, 1990. "European Women's Employment and Fertility Again," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 3-18, April.
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