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Completed project

Work-family balance and Norway’s fertility decline

Project period November 2017 - September 2018
Project employer Barne- og likestillingsdepartementet
Project nr. 10267
Project leader Sara Cools


Project Background

According to various measures, fertility is declining in Norway. Often cited explanations are women’s increased education and labour supply, which increase the importance of women’s careers.  

Concurrent with the strengthening position of women in the labour market, men have increased their participation in family life. The increased involvement by fathers could mean both that men’s preferences regarding childbearing change and that they become more important for the ultimate fertility decision. A sharper tradeoff in the time available for work and for children may make men interested in having fewer children than before.

Project Approach

The project consisted of two subprojects. In the first subproject we analysed the relative importance of men’s and women’s labour market position for fertility decision. In the second subproject we made use of survey data in order to investigate the importance of economic security as a prerequisite for childbearing.

The project was also part of CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality at the Institute for Social Research.


Cools, Sara & Strøm, Marte (2018). Mellom arbeidsliv og familieliv: Hvilken betydning har arbeidsmarkedssituasjonen for om menn og kvinner velger å få barn?. Rapport – Institutt for samfunnsforskning. 2018:13.


Sara Cools PhD Research Professor +47 984 96 736 Send e-mail
Marte Strøm PhD Research Professor +47 408 85 333 Send e-mail
Tags: Gender Equality, Working Life, Welfare
Published Nov. 7, 2017 1:27 PM - Last modified Sep. 25, 2018 12:13 PM