The project applies a multiple equilibrium framework to understand ongoing transformations in family demography and their consequences for social inequalities. Associated with the changing economic role of women emerge novel family forms that replace the conventional male breadwinner model. The transition is very much in flux, producing multiple equilibria some of which are unstable and associated with inefficient and inequitable couple specialization. Based on long micro panel data for four countries at different stages of the transition, the study will address three parallel issues. One, identifying equilibrium shifts from the traditional towards more gender symmetric family forms, with particular focus on the endogenously driven dynamics that drive populations towards a gender egalitarian equilibrium. Two, analyzing the potentially polarizing demographic correlates of changing family behaviour in particular in terms of marital choice and couple stability. Three, testing hypotheses regarding family polarization with respect to parental investments in children and how these, in turn, influence children’s life chances.
Fields of science
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