Fathers' Changing Contributions to Child Care and Domestic Work in Very Low-Fertility Countries: The Effect of Education

Oriel Sullivan, Francesco C. Billari, Evrim Altintas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations

Abstract

Comparing a cluster of European countries that have recently experienced very low fertility with other industrialized countries, we hypothesize a connection between fertility behavior and fathers' increasing participation in unpaid work. Using cross-national time use data we find significant evidence of recent increases in the contribution of younger, more highly educated fathers to child care and core domestic work in very low-fertility countries that have recently experienced upturns in fertility. The pace of these increases exceeds that found in the comparison group of other industrialized countries. We interpret these findings as suggestive evidence for a process of cross-national social diffusion of more egalitarian domestic gender relations, in particular among more highly educated fathers, acting to facilitate a turnaround in the pattern of postponed and foregone fertility which has characterized lowest low- and very low-fertility countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1048-1065
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume35
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • child care
  • family
  • family demography
  • father-child relationship
  • gender
  • household labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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