Letizia Mencarini (Torino): Institutional Change, Happiness and Fertility

Letizia Mencarini (Torino) presenterer et arbeid om institusjonelle rammer, fruktbarhet og lykke.

Letizia Mencarini er gjesteforsker ved ISS i sommer. Hun er demograf og arbeider for tiden med problemstillinger knyttet til fruktbarhet og subjektiv livskvalitet. Blant annet leder hun SWELL-FER, et stort ERC-finansiert prosjekt om dette. Mencarini har publisert en lang rekke arbeider innenfor familie- og fruktbarhetsfeltet.  

Letizia Mencarini

På AKS-seminarets siste arrangement dette semesteret, presenterer Letizia Mencarini et arbeid fra prosjektet SWELL-FER. Paperet tar opp teoretiske problemstillinger knyttet til kjønnslikestilling og rollen dette spiller for betydningen fruktbarhet har for subjektiv livskvalitet.

Abstract

Building on existing theories of fertility dynamics, this paper provides a theoretical perspective that connects two recent strands of the literature. The first concerns gender equity and equality where institutions play a critical role. The second is that subjective wellbeing matters in explaining childbearing behaviour (and vice versa). Our key argument is that subjective wellbeing is a direct function of the discrepancy between aspirations and attainment, here interpreted as a potential mismatch between gender equity and equality. As aspirations change over time, discrepancy arises in so far institutions are unable to follow suit with new emerging preferences. This lowers subjective wellbeing associated with childbearing, and hence leads to lower levels of fertility. Our empirical analysis is based on the European Social Survey, and although taking an indirect approach, we provide support for this idea. Fertility and happiness are higher where institutions appear to have adapted to women’s new preferences and aspirations, which is further supported by strong gender differences in happiness associated with parenthood. Fathers are always happier than non-fathers – no matter the circumstances of the country where they reside – whereas mothers are happier only when relevant institutions are in place.

Arrangør

AKS-seminaret
Publisert 18. juni 2015 08:27