The changing institutional context of low fertility
Using data for 1960-97 for 22 low fertility countries, we document a dramatic change in the association of fertility levels to women's levels of labor force participation. Until the 1980s, this association had been strongly negative. However, during the 1980s it became positive, and since 1990 strongly positive. We also document an emerging positive association of the country-level total fertility ratio (TFR) and nonmarital ratio (e.g., the proportion of births to unmarried women). We argue that these transformed associations reflect societal level responses that, in some contexts, have eased the incompatibility between mother and worker roles, and loosened the link between marriage and childbearing. These arguments imply that societal responses to mother/worker incompatibility exert substantial influence on fertility levels in low fertility countries. © 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Rindfuss, RR; Guzzo, KB; Morgan, SP
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)