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The opportunity costs of childbearing: More than mothers' business

Author

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  • Heather Joshi

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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Heather Joshi, 1998. "The opportunity costs of childbearing: More than mothers' business," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 11(2), pages 161-183.
  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. Hippolyte D'Albis & Angela Greulich & Grégory Ponthière, 2017. "Development, fertility and childbearing age: A unified growth theory," PSE Working Papers halshs-01452846, HAL.
    2. FFF1Livia Sz. NNN1Oláh & FFF2Ewa NNN2Frątczak, 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.
    3. Martin Werding & Sonja Munz & Vera Gács, 2008. "Fertility and prosperity : links between demography and economic growth," ifo Forschungsberichte, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 42, October.
    4. Arnstein Aassve & Alice Goisis & Maria Sironi, 2012. "Happiness and Childbearing Across Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 65-86, August.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    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. 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.
    9. Anna Baranowska-Rataj & Anna Matysiak, 2016. "The Causal Effects of the Number of Children on Female Employment - Do European Institutional and Gender Conditions Matter?," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 343-367, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Urban Sila & Ricardo Sousa, 2014. "Windfall gains and labour supply: evidence from the European household panel," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-27, December.
    12. Zuzanna Brzozowska, 2015. "Intergenerational educational mobility and completed fertility," IBS Working Papers 1/2015, Instytut Badan Strukturalnych.
    13. 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.
    14. Rondinelli, Concetta & Aassve, Arnstein & Billari, Francesco C., 2006. "Income and childbearing decisions: evidence from Italy," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-06, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    15. 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.
    16. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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