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FAMWORK: Work and family in an advanced economy

Research project Parents (-to-be) need both income to support their children and time to care for them. How are family life and fertility intentions affected when most careers are attainable also to women, and when expectations of involved parenting extend also to men? How does developments in the labor market and changes in family policy affect fertility?

This project examines the relationship between men’s and women’s work, and fertility. For most families, there is a conflict between time and income in the decision to have children.

Head of project

Sara Cools
Institute for Social Research

Project overview

Project period:

2021-08-01 2025-08-31


Research council of Norway

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Sociology

Research area

  • Project members
    Anna Baranowska-Rataj
    Professor, other position

    External project members

    Ester Bøckmann (Institute for Social Research)
    Miriam Evensen (Institute for Social Research)
    Ragni Hege Kitterød (Institute for Social Research)
    Marte Strøm (Institute for Social Research)
    Øystein Kravdal (UiO/FHI)
    Rannveig Kaldager Hart (FHI)
    Hans Henrik Sievertsen (University of Bristol)
    Wendy Sigle (LSE)

Project description

In the first part of the project, we will investigate how fertility decisions are affected by recent developments in the labor market, such as changes in the flexibility of work due to technological changes and changes in job security due to an increasing use of alternative work forms in the labor market (e.g. temporary contracts, self-employment etc.).

In the second part of the project, we will do a survey about fertility preferences and the perceived costs of childbearing. The survey will build on previous surveys, enabling us to track the development in fertility preferences over time. We will also investigate how the perceived and actual costs of childbearing affect fertility choices, looking especially at the role of career costs and health costs.

In the last part of the project, we will use register data to look at historical developments in the relationship between men’s and women’s work and fertility from 1967 up until today, and time-use surveys to analyze the developments in how parents spend their time. Last, we will make a meta-analysis of the literature on the effects of public policy on fertility choices.

Latest update: 2023-08-23