Gøsta Esping-Andersen

Gender Egalitarianism and the Resurgent Family

  • Abstract

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Keywords: JEL Classification: J12 - Family structure; J13 - Fertility; J11 - Demographic trends.

The essay argues that the multiple signs of a steady erosion of the family represent not a long-term linear trend, but rather a transition phase. The key driver behind both the decline and the subsequent resurgence lies in the revolution of women's roles. Applying a multiple equilibrium framework, I hypothesize that falling marriage rates, greater couple instability and declining fertility all represent a state of normative uncertainty following the erosion of the traditional family model. As gender-symmetric family norms gain dominance we should witness a return to higher fertility and greater marital stability.

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