Does gender equality matter for fertility? Demographic findings on this issue are rather inconclusive. We argue that one reason for this is that the complexity of the concept of gender equality has received insufficient attention. Gender equality needs to be conceptualized in a manner that goes beyond perceiving it as mere ‘‘sameness of distribution’’. It needs to include notions of gender equity and thus to allow for distinguishing between gender difference and gender inequality. We sketch three dimensions of gender equality related to employment, financial resources, and family work, which incorporate this understanding: (1) the ability to maintain a household; (2) agency and the capability to choose; and (3) gender equity in household and care work. We explore their impact on childbearing intentions of women and men using the European Generations and Gender Surveys. Our results confirm the need for a more nuanced notion of gender equality in studies on the relationship between gender equality on fertility. They show that there is no uniform effect of gender equality on childbearing intentions, but that the impact varies by gender and by parity.
A symmetrical family model of two workers or caregivers is a political goal in many western European countries. We explore how common this family type is in Norway, a country with high gender-equality ambitions, by using a multinomial latent class model to develop a typology of dualearner couples with children based on the partners’ allocations of paid and unpaid work. Using data on 2,617 respondents from the Norwegian Generations and Gender Survey, we estimate 4 classes, of which 2 are characterized by a fairly equal sharing between the partners and 2 have more traditional arrangements. Equal sharing is practiced by 4 out of 10 couples and is most likely when the partners are well educated and work regular hours and the father is in public-sector employment. A traditional practice is likely when the partners have less education, the mother has health problems, the father has private-sector employment, and the partners work irregular hours.
An important aim of Norwegian work-family policies is to promote a dual-earner, equal-sharing family model, but we do not really know how common this family type is. By means of a multinomial latentclass model we develop a typology of dual-earner couples with children based on the way the partners allocate paid and unpaid work between them. We estimate four classes. One fourth of the couples belong to the Neo-Traditional class, where the mother often works part time and shoulders the domestic duties, whereas the father works full time or long hours. The Gender-Equal Light type, which comprises one third of the couples, has a similar, but less extreme gender disparity of paid and unpaid duties. In the both the Generalized Gender-Equal type (23 percent) and the Specialized Gender-Equal type (18 percent) the partners share paid and unpaid work fairly equally between them, but the spouses specialize more in different family tasks in the latter than in the former type. An equal sharing of paid and unpaid work is most likely when the partners are well educated, both partners work regular hours and the father has public-sector employment. A neo-traditional practice is likely when the partners have less education, the mother has health problems, the father works in the private sector, and the partners work non-regular hours.
This paper follows previous research on the role of social capital and gender equity in fertility behavior. Our research question is to what extent social capital and gender equality in housework and childcare can explain fertility intentions and subsequent births in Russia. Russia is a country with prevalence of one-child families, whereas social norm is still two-children family. Since state support of families with children is weak and public childcare is underdeveloped, families bear most of child-related costs. The paper is based on two waves of Generations and Gender Survey (GGS), conducted in Russia in 2004 and 2007. Sample includes women of 18-44 and men with partners of the same age. We used binary logit models. Dependent variables include a) intentions to give birth within 3 years, b) births between two waves. Main explanatory variables include gender equity and social capital. The former varies from traditional to egalitarian partnerships. The latter is measured by five variables - 'parental family', 'attitudes toward intergenerational support', 'financial transfers', 'closeness to parents' and 'received childcare'. We control for sex, birth cohort, regional availability of public childcare, socio-economic status. The results show that social network for childcare does not influence either intended or actual fertility. Close relations with separately living parents increase only intentions to become parents. But access to financial transfers influence both intended and actual births of the first and second child. Besides, egalitarian division of housework and childcare significantly increases the probability of first and second births and probability of intentions to have a second child. The tentative conclusion is that gender equity concept is more relevant to explaining fertility behavior of Russian population than social capital.