Gender Equality and Fertility: Which Equality Matters?

Trude Lappegård, Statistics Norway
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
Dorothea Rieck, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Cornelia Muresan, University Babes-Bolyai of Cluj

Does gender equality matter for fertility? Demographic findings on this question are rather inconclusive. We argue that there are several dimensions of gender equality, situated in place and time, and they are differently related to fertility. To substantiate our position we study the impact of three gender dimensions on women´s and men´s intention to have a first and a subsequent child in countries with different gender-equity status and different fertility levels: France, Germany, Norway, Italy, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Georgia. We apply multilevel logistic regressions to data from the Generations and Gender Survey. We find that full-time employment, the maintenance of financial resources and the availability of childcare are essential for women´s and men´s parenthood intentions, but women seem to make their decisions more dependent on these factors than men do. Regarding subsequent children, gender inequality becomes more prevalent in countries which do not support gender equity.

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Presented in Session 1: Low Fertility in Comparative Perspective