Capabilities and childbearing intentions in Europe: the association between work-family reconciliation policies, economic uncertainties and women’s fertility plans
2013 (English)In: European Societies: The Official Journal of the European Sociological Association, ISSN 1461-6696, E-ISSN 1469-8307, Vol. 15, no 5, 639-662 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article investigates the association between economic uncertainties, work-family reconciliation policies and women’s short-term childbearing intentions in ten European countries. I introduce the Capability Approach to this issue and argue that short-term childbearing intentions are an indicator of women’s capabilities to start a family or to have additional children. Data from the European Social Survey is used. The analysis reveals that the association between economic uncertainties and short-term childbearing varies by the number of children already born, education and institutional contexts. Being in paid work have a positive impact on childless women’s short-term intentions in some countries, while in other countries, unemployed childless women are those most likely to intend to have a child in the near future. Other aspects of economic uncertainties, namely perceived job and income insecurity, have a negative impact on short-term childbearing intentions, regardless of motherhood status. The analysis also shows that the combination of weaker institutional support for work-family reconciliation, perceived job and income insecurity and low educational skills are associated with lower childbearing intentions, but the pattern across the ten countries varies by motherhood status, and is slightly more evident for childless women. This study has shown the importance of embedding individual decision processes in a broader social societal context.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge, 2013. Vol. 15, no 5, 639-662 p.
childbearing intentions, capability approach, economic uncertainties, reconciliation policies
Research subject Sociology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79495DOI: 10.1080/14616696.2013.798018ISI: 000329983200002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79495DiVA: diva2:555506