Gender equality and fertility: does context matter?

Gerda R. Neyer, Stockholm University
Trude Lappegård, Statistics Norway
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
Dorothea Rieck, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Demographic studies of the effect of gender equality on fertility render rather inconclusive and often contradictory results. Our paper starts with the proposition that this puzzling outcome may be brought about by several factors: First, gender equality comprises several dimensions and they are differently related to fertility. Second, the dimensions of gender equality play out differently at different parities. Third, gender equality and fertility are situated in place and time, and may thus be influenced by their context. To substantiate our position we study the impact of “public” and “private” gender dimensions on women´s and men´s intention to have a first and a subsequent child in countries with different gender-equity status: France, Germany, Norway, Italy, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Russia. We apply multilevel logistic regressions to data of the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey. Our first results show that there are substantial gender differences regarding the impact of gender-equality dimensions on the intentions to have a first child and on the intention to have a second and/or subsequent child, and that these results seem to be influenced by contextual factors.

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Presented in Session 54: Gender equity and fertility