Gender Equality and Cross-National Differences in Fertility

Catherine Jeppsen, Pennsylvania State University

Research on the relationship between gender equality and fertility is generally limited to one level of analysis and/or to one dimension of gender equality. These limitations leave three unanswered questions: First, how does differentiating between gender equality in the public and private spheres matter for the relationship between gender equality and fertility at an individual level? Second, how does the association between individual-level gender equality and fertility vary depending on the contexts within which people live? And third, what is the direct relationship between contextual-level gender equality and fertility? In this paper I improve upon existing research by answering these questions using cross-national, multilevel data that includes measures for gender equality in both the public and private spheres at individual and country levels. I conclude that the relationship between gender equality and fertility depends largely on the type of gender equality being measured.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors