Concluding Thoughts on Childbearing, Women’s Work and Work-Life Balance Policy Nexus in Europe in the Dawn of the 21st Century

  • Livia Sz. Oláh
  • Susanne Fahlén
Part of the Work and Welfare in Europe book series (RECOWE)


This book has addressed the interplay between childbearing and work and welfare, more specifically female employment and work-life balance policies, in contemporary Europe. Along with increasing scholarly interest in the topic, demographic and economic sustainability has been high on the agenda in European policymaking given substantial cross-country variations in fertility levels in the past decades, (well) below what is necessary for the replacement of the population (that is 2.05 children per woman) and not speeding up societal ageing. Focusing on childbearing choices (intentions mainly, but even desires), considered as influential predictors of future fertility, our research team has examined the importance of labour force participation on young women’s fertility plans in the context of increasing labour market flexibility in various work-life balance policy settings. We have studied five countries, two high-fertility and three low-fertility societies representing different welfare regime/policy configuration types. Our two high-fertility societies, Sweden and France, belong to different policy regimes, the former being the prime case of the Dual-Earner, and the latter belonging to the General Family Support policy configuration type to which even Germany, a low-fertility regime country belongs. The other two low-fertility societies we have studied, Poland and Hungary, represent the Transition Post-Socialist cluster.


Labour Market Economic Hardship Gender Equity Temporary Employment Fertility Intention 
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Copyright information

© Livia Sz. Oláh and Susanne Fahlén 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Livia Sz. Oláh
  • Susanne Fahlén

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