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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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  • Daumerie, Béatrice, 2003. "What Future for Europe? New perspectives in post-industrial fertility issues," Arbetsrapport 2003:7, Institute for Futures Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifswps:2003_007
    Note: ISBN 91-89655-36-2
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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;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 3(1), pages 3-18, April.
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    Keywords

    Fertility levels Europe;

    JEL classification:

    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General

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