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The Effect of Gender Policies on Fertility: The Moderating Role of Education and Normative Context

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  • Pau Baizan

    () (ICREA
    Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Bruno Arpino

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

  • Carlos Eric Delclòs

    (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

Abstract

In this paper, we aim to assess the extent to which individual-level completed fertility varies across contexts characterized by policies supporting different gender division of labor models. We examine key labor market and care policies that shape gender relations in households and in the public domain. We also consider the role of gender norms, which can act as both a moderator and a confounding factor for policy effects. We hypothesize that, by facilitating role compatibility and reducing the gendered costs of childrearing, policies that support gender equality lead to an increase in fertility levels and to a reduction in fertility differentials by the level of education. Using individual-level data from the European Union Survey on Income and Living Conditions for 16 countries, combined with country-level data, we analyze completed fertility through multilevel Poisson’s models. We find that the national level of childcare coverage is positively associated with fertility. Family allowances, prevalence of women’s part-time employment and length of paid leaves were also found to be positively associated with completed fertility, though the associations were not statistically significant. These variables show a significant positive pattern according to education. A high number of average working hours for men are negatively associated with completed fertility and show a strong negative pattern by educational level. The prevalence of gender-egalitarian norms is highly predictive of fertility levels, yet we found no consistent evidence of a weaker association of gender-equality policies in countries where egalitarian values are less prevalent.

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  • Pau Baizan & Bruno Arpino & Carlos Eric Delclòs, 2016. "The Effect of Gender Policies on Fertility: The Moderating Role of Education and Normative Context," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(1), pages 1-30, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eurpop:v:32:y:2016:i:1:d:10.1007_s10680-015-9356-y
    DOI: 10.1007/s10680-015-9356-y
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    2. Hippolyte d’ALBIS & Paula E. GOBBI & Angela GREULICH, 2017. "Having a Second Child and Access to Childcare : Evidence from European Countries," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 177-210, June.
    3. Krystof Zeman & Eva Beaujouan & Zuzanna Brzozowska & Tomáš Sobotka, 2018. "Cohort fertility decline in low fertility countries: Decomposition using parity progression ratios," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 38(25), pages 651-690.
    4. Smyk, Magdalena & Tyrowicz, Joanna & van der Velde, Lucas, 2018. "A Cautionary Note on the Reliability of the Online Survey Data: The Case of Wage Indicator," IZA Discussion Papers 11503, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    7. Krzysztof Makarski & Joanna Tyrowicz & Magda Malec, 2018. "Evaluating welfare and economic effects of raised fertility," GRAPE Working Papers 25, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
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    9. Hippolyte d’ALBIS & Paula E. GOBBI & Angela GREULICH, 2017. "Having a Second Child and Access to Childcare : Evidence from European Countries," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 177-210, June.
    10. Angela Greulich & Aurélien Dasré, 2017. "Fertility Analysis with EU-SILC: A Quantification of Measurement Bias," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17002, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    11. Angela Greulich & Aurélien Dasré, 2017. "Fertility Analysis with EU-SILC: A Quantification of Measurement Bias," Post-Print halshs-01440519, HAL.
    12. Hippolyte d’ALBIS & Paula E. GOBBI & Angela GREULICH, 2017. "Having a Second Child and Access to Childcare : Evidence from European Countries," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 177-210, June.

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