English title: Birthstrikes? Agency and Capabilities in the Reconciliation of Employment and Family

Author(s): Barbara Hobson - Livia Sz. Olah -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2006


The purpose of this article is to analyze women's agency and fertility decisions in the context of policy configurations in welfare states for reconciling employment with having and caring for children and the changing aspirations and expectations forgender equality in families. Employing the concept of birthstriking, inspired by Amartaya Sen's ideas on capabilities and agency freedom, we consider which individuals and families in the 1990s are delaying or not having children across 12 countries, representing four policy configuration models. Using household level data, we consider differences in education on the likelihood of having a first child. We find the clearest birthstriking effects in societies where there are weak reconciliation policies for motherhood and employment and few protections for families with uncertain economic futures.

Volume: 39

Issue: 4

From page no: 197

To page no: 227

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1300/J002V39N03_01

Journal: Marriage and Family Review

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