Volume 24 - Article 8 | Pages 201–216  

Should governments in Europe be more aggressive in pushing for gender equality to raise fertility? The first "NO"

By Dimiter Philipov

This article is part of the Special Collection 9 "Rostock Debate on Demographic Change"


This paper takes the "no" side in the debate on the question posed in the title. The paper assumes that the dual-earner/dual-carer household model is the most likely aim of policies that push aggressively for gender equality in order to raise fertility. Five objections are discussed: the model does not necessarily lead to a fertility increase; aggressiveness will lead to an imbalance of labor supply and demand, and is likely to confront slowly changing cultural norms; similar policies will also confront the issue of innate gender differences; and country idiosyncrasies prevent the application of a unified policy approach. The paper briefly concludes that compatible gender-neutral family policies and fertility-neutral gender policies are likely to lead to an increase in fertility.

Author's Affiliation

  • Dimiter Philipov - Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital (IIASA, OeAW, University of Vienna), Austria EMAIL

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