Magdalena Muszyńska (ed): Structural and Cultural Determinants of Fertility in Europe
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Structural and Cultural Determinants of Fertility in Europe is a dissertation that aims at understanding differences in women’s fertility levels prevalent in European countries in the second half of the 1990s. The main thesis put forward by the author is that the cross-country variation in fertility is largely rooted in differences in cultural (or ideational) and structural (or social-structural/institutional) sources of incompatibility between women’s paid work and child-rearing duties. Various theoretical concepts are utilized in this study, notably James Coleman’s theory of rational action, the economic theory of fertility, comparative welfare state research, as well as Catherine Hakim’s ideas on the role of preferences in women’s lives. This considerable breadth of theoretical ideas is a rare achievement but also a problem for a dissertation because it is difficult or probably impossible to integrate all these concepts into one explanatory framework. This lack of theoretical...