Working Papers










Working paper 80(2017)

European Large Families Confederation Survey
on the Conditions and Policies regarding Large Families

By Pau Serra del Pozo, Livia Sz. Oláh and Iwona Sztajner

Abstract: The European Large Families Confederation (ELFAC) is a civil society partner in the FamiliesAndSocieties consortium. It gathers large families associations and federations across Europe. In 2015 ELFAC launched a European-wide on-line survey on the living conditions of large families. Over 7800 large families participated. This working paper describes the contents of the survey and provides some basic results. The objectives of the survey were two-fold: 1) To shed more light on a family type that is little known in Europe, the large families (their structure and how they live, some of their motivations for having three or more children, etc.); 2) To assess whether family policies meet the need of large families. The main findings have also been reflected upon in the FamiliesAndSocieties Policy recommendations report, informing national, regional and local governments as well as the EU in order to facilitate evidence-based policy making.

Posted November 30 2017 – Read more











Working paper 79(2017)

EU-Policies and Fertility:
The Emergence of Fertility Related Family
Policies at the Supra-National Level

By Gerda Neyer, Arianna Caporali, Nora Sánchez Gassen

Abstract: The paper deals with fertility relevant policy initiatives at the European level. During the past decade the EU has set several initiatives concerning fertility issues. It is not clear whether these mark the emergence of a new policy field within the EU. To assess this issue we collected EU documents related to fertility relevant policy issues and quantified their development over time. We distinguished between binding and non-binding acts, and we analysed the key topics and frames of the EU documents collected in our dataset. The analysis shows that EU activities related to fertility relevant family policies have increased over time, both with respect to binding and non-binding initiatives. It further shows that the recent fertility-focused initiatives are embedded in policy frames and topics which to a large extent have been part of the core of European Union politics since its onset.

Posted June 15 2017 – Read more







Working paper 78(2017)

Policy recommendations Changing families and sustainable societies:
Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations

By Laura Carlson, Livia Sz. Oláh and Barbara Hobson

Abstract: These policy recommendations are based on main findings of the large-scale EU Seventh Framework project, FamiliesAndSocieties: Changing families and sustainable societies: Policy contexts and diversity over the life course and across generations.
Printed version was produced and distributed in March 2017.

Posted June 12 2017 – Read more









Working paper 77(2017)

Synthesis of main findings in the FamiliesAndSocieties project

By Livia Sz. Oláh, Barbara Hobson and Laura Carlson

Abstract: This working paper summarizes the main results produced in the large scale collaborative research project FamiliesAndSocieties, financed in the EU Seventh Framework Programme during the period February 2013 – January 2017. Addressing first the growing diversity of family life courses and their main mechanisms of change, the research then focuses on linked lives and interdependencies through the lens of changing gender and intergenerational dependencies. Societal contexts and policies are addressed in highlighting vulnerable groups, issues of recognition and social inclusion, and family-relevant EU and national level policies. A brief discussion on future social risks and policy challenges, and on the implications of the project findings for policy frameworks concludes this report.

Posted June 12 2017 – Read more









Working paper 76(2017)

On Families: Facts and thoughts. Blogposts on Family Studies 2015 – 2016

By Rudolf Richter

Abstract: The articles in this file contain results from family research. These articles are based on the Project FamiliesAndSocieties (funded by European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no. 320116).
Some of the articles refer to this project directly, others are related to the theme and take a global perspective. The underlying scientific articles appeared in highly ranked scientific journals, which are hardly accessible for the average reader. The author reports the essential results adding reflections and thoughts which might inspire the reader for autonomous further thinking.
Also available at:

Posted May 24 2017 – Read more














Working paper 75(2017)

More and more together:
Legal family formats for same-sex and different-sex couples in European countries
Comparative analysis of data in the LawsAndFamilies Database

By Kees Waaldijk, Daniel Damonzé, Marie Digoix, Marina Franchi, Natalie Nikolina, José Ignacio Pichardo Galán, Giulia Selmi, Matias de Stéfano Barbero, Matthias Thibeaud, Jose A.M. Vela, and Giuseppe Zago

Abstract: This report offers a comparative analysis of legal and other data concerning samesex (and different-sex) families, in marriage, in registered partnership, and in cohabitation. These data (from a legal survey among legal experts in 21 European countries, from sociological interviews with same-sex families in four countries, and from a statistical survey of twelve countries) have been brought together in the LawsAndFamilies Database – Aspects of legal family formats for same-sex and different-sex couples ( The report presents the database and the methodology of the legal survey, followed by an overview and analysis of the main results of that survey for the different countries in light of European minimum standards, plus five comparative cases studies on specific legal issues for which the database now provides detailed information, and a synthesis of the findings from the qualitative interviews. The conclusion highlights the main findings on the situation of same-sex couples, including gender aspects, and offers recommendations for further research and for legal policy; it connects legal and sociological findings, and presents correlations between laws, public attitudes, and statistics. The general theme of the report is increasing legal equality for increasing diversity of families.

Posted April 19 2017 – Read more













Working paper 74(2017)

The contribution of civil society:
Good practices

By Diego Barroso and Eloïse Leboutte

Abstract: The International Federation for Family Development (IFFD) presents this compendium of practices illustrating the ecology of family forms, well-being and recognizing the diverse nature of family forms. The compendium demonstrates a structural framework of a diverse range of needs, such as education, economic inclusion and security, opportunity and respect, intergenerational connectivity and work-family reconciliation. To this end, good practices are here described as real-world stimulants helping to deliver family well-being, confidence and dignity. These initiatives have been developed and delivered at local levels. However, they do demonstrate in certain family circumstances, intervention(s) are needed to ensure family success and create a more cohesive society. The case studies are not universal solutions; however, the practices are encouraging as they tend to have real positive impact on family (and societal) life at the micro and macro levels. The paper is a useful tool in furthering the understanding of family perspectives in overall policy forming and making, as we strive to improve the wellbeing of European families, especially the most vulnerable and marginalised. Our joint goals are to build stronger European families, end child abuse and neglect, eliminate family and domestic violence and advance the needs of marginalised families and communities. Families―whatever diverse form they take ―are our most time-honoured settings for giving and receiving love, understanding and nurturing. Therefore, our research, our understanding and our practices of family policy becomes a cornerstone of delivering a cohesive society.

Posted March 30 2017 – Read more










Working paper 73(2017)

Family Trajectories and Wellbeing of Children
Born to Lone Mothers in the United Kingdom

By Elena Mariani, Berkay Özcan Alice Goisis

Abstract: We investigate how lone mothers’ heterogeneity in partnership trajectories is associated with children’s wellbeing. We use data from the Millennium Cohort Study, which follows a large sample of children born in the UK in 2000-02. We divide children who were born to lone mothers into four groups based on their mothers’ partnership trajectories between birth and age seven, which cover more than 80% of these children’s family experiences. We then analyse how these trajectories are associated with markers of health, cognitive and socio-emotional outcomes measured at around age seven. We find that compared to the children that live continuously with lone mothers, children whose biological father stably joined the household have better cognitive and socioemotional outcomes. In contrast, children in trajectories characterised by living with a stepfather or who experienced biological father joining in the family followed by biological parents’ dissolution had outcomes similar to children living continuously with lone mothers. The results underscore the importance of treating children born to lone mothers as a heterogeneous category.

Posted March 8 2017 – Read more










Working paper 72(2017)

Policies and Diversity over the Life Course:
Summary of Key Findings from WP 9

By Gerda Neyer

Abstract: This document summarizes the main findings from the research carried out in Workpackage 9, Policies and Diversity over the Life Course, within the FamiliesAndSocieties project. We present key results from our studies (1) on policies directed to young people at the transition to adulthood and self-sufficient living, (2) on preferences, usage, and consequences of parental-leave and fathers’ leave policies on family dynamics; (3) on the legal family formats for same-sex and/or different-sex couples in European countries, (4) on the emergence of private markets and issues of migration and care, and (5) on European Union family-policy initiatives. In our summary, we focus on policy-relevant findings and in particular on those of broader implications for policies, policy directions, and policy design in Europe at large. In concluding we summarize some of the core policy implications of our studies.

Posted February 27 2017 – Read more












Working paper 71(2017)

The new roles of men and women and
implications for families and societies:
Summary report of key findings for WP3

By Livia Sz. Oláh, Rudolf Richter and Irena E. Kotowska

Abstract: This report summarizes the main results produced in Work package 3 on “The new roles of men and women and implications for families and societies”. The general objective of the work package was to address the complex interplay between the new roles of women and men and the diversity of family life courses in contemporary Europe. Moreover, the research aimed to shed more light on the impact of different policy contexts on new constructions of gender in doing family. To achieve the general objective, four specific objectives were laid out: i) to study women’s new role and implications for family dynamics with respect of both women and men; ii) to study the gendered transition to parenthood; iii) to study new gender roles in doing families, and iv) to study coping strategies in family and work reconciliation under conditions of uncertainty and precariousness. In addition to present the main findings, we also discuss the data sources used in the research highlighting ways of improvements to further in-depth knowledge on gender and family developments. A detailed discussion of policy implications with regard to labour market policies, education and value setting ends the report.

Posted February 10 2017 – Read more









Working paper 70(2017)

Father involvement in the UK: trends in the new millennium

By Ursula Henz

Abstract: In many Western countries, father involvement in childcare has strongly increased during the second half of the 20th century. Policy changes should have arguably sustained the trends in the UK in the new millennium. This report examines recent changes in father involvement in the UK by analysing the 2000 and 2015 UK Time-Use surveys and compares the patterns with findings from similar analyses for France, Italy and Sweden. The analyses show that fathers in the UK spent more time doing childcare in 2015 compared to 2000 but they spent less total time together with their children. Compared to fathers in France and Sweden, the levels of father involvement in the UK were relatively low. The UK stands out from the other three countries by stronger educational gradients of father involvement on weekends, suggesting cumulative disadvantages of children who grow up in low-educated families.

Posted February 2 2017 – Read more









Working paper 69(2017)

Childlessness and Assisted Reproduction in Europe. Summary Report of Key Findings for WP4

By Patrick Präg, Tomáš Sobotka, Eevi Lappalainen, Anneli Miettinen, Anna Rotkirch, Judit Takács, Annalisa Donno, Maria Letizia Tanturri, and Melinda Mills

Abstract: This report summarizes key findings of Work Package 4, which focussed on the areas of childlessness and assisted reproductive technology (ART). We summarize trends, predictors on the macro- and the micro-level as well as narratives pertaining to childlessness. We also synthesize the central findings with respect to ART, showing the prevalence of ART usage across Europe, variation in the regulation of ART, and consequences of the proliferation of ART. These findings provide the strong fundaments for policy recommendations, in addition to providing evidence of the impact that this Work Package has already had.

Posted February 2 2017 – Read more











Working paper 68(2017)

Family Dynamics and Inequalities in Children’s Life Chances:
Summary and Key Findings from WP5

By Diederik Boertien, Fabrizio Bernardi and Juho Härkönen

Abstract: The landscape of European families has changed dramatically over the last decades. Whereas the post-war era family was characterized by stability and two biological parents, several ‘non-traditional’ forms have become increasingly more common over time such as single mother and step-families. Most research has focused on the average association between parental separation and child outcomes. The research completed within this work package has aimed to move to more complex questions that involve a greater variety of family forms and that aims to identify situations where family structure has greater or smaller impacts on children’s life chances. This work package has additionally researched the variation in the effects of different family forms on child outcomes over time, across countries, and between social groups, as well as some of the mechanisms that can be seen responsible for these effects. This final report gives an overview of the research done in this Work Package, and provides general reflections and recommendations for future research.

Posted January 26 2017 – Read more











Working paper 67(2017)

Summary Report of the Key Findings for Work
Package 8

By Hill Kulu, Tina Hannemann, Amparo González-Ferrer,
Gunnar Andersson and Ariane Pailhé

Abstract: The aims of this report are to summarise the main findings of studies on migrant and ethnic minority families in Europe, to discuss how various factors shape family patterns of immigrants and their descendants and to provide policy recommendations. The analysis of partnership dynamics, mixed marriages and childbearing behaviour shows that there is a significant diversity of partnership patterns and family forms among immigrants and their descendants in European countries. Factors related to family of origin and country of residence are important in explaining differences in partnership and fertility behaviour between population subgroups. Overall, family patterns of the ‘second-generation’ fall in- between those of their parents’ generation and the respective native populations. The differences to natives are expected to further decline in the ‘third generation’, but a significant intra-group heterogeneity will likely persist. Policy-makers should be aware of the diversity of partnership forms and the presence of large families in some minority groups and small families in others and ensure that all families are supported. Children from different types of families should have the same opportunities as those from the ‘average’ families.

Posted January 25 2017 – Read more











Working paper 66(2017)

Futures of families in times of multifaceted
societal changes: a foresight approach

By Bernhard Riederer, Monika Mynarska, Maria Winkler-Dworak, Thomas Fent, Bernhard Rengs and
Dimiter Philipov

Abstract: This working paper gives an overview over research activities on the future of the families conducted in the FamiliesAndSocieties project. The foresight approach employed both qualitative and quantitative methods to outline what the future may bring for families in Europe. What will be the most important topics for the future of families in Europe? Which factors might drive the future of families with children and their well-being? Which family types will be in danger of living in vulnerable situations? What policies will be relevant to stop intergenerational vulnerability reproduction? What may be the future consequences of the ongoing “gender revolution” and current refugee flows? The research summarized in the present report will address exactly these and other important questions.

Posted January 11 2017 – Read more













Working paper 65(2017)

Vulnerability of families with children: experts’ opinions about the future and what families think about it

By Bernhard Riederer, Dimiter Philipov and Bernhard Rengs

Abstract: Building upon results of prior focus group research, the present study employs online surveys about possible future developments of the vulnerability of families with children in Europe. In addition, respondents assessed the relevance of societal factors influencing future family well-being and the effectiveness of ten selected policy measures in preventing the intergenerational transfer of vulnerability. One survey was directed at scientists and practitioners who are family experts (N=175). Another survey aimed at exploring the thoughts of parents themselves (N=1,343). Results show that experts are rather pessimistic and even expect vulnerability to increase in the future. In their opinion, the most relevant forces driving future vulnerability seem to be economic development—manifesting itself in unemployment and earnings inequality—and family policy. As for policy measures, childcare availability, early childhood education, assistance for children with special needs and raising awareness of employers for work–family reconciliation were ranked highly for mitigating the reproduction of vulnerability. While parents largely share the opinions of experts with regard to forces relevant for future family well-being, they evaluate some of the policy measures differently: the main disparities concern the assessment of support for stayat- home mothers and the weight given to education for children after school and during holidays.

Posted January 11 2017 – Read more











Working paper 64(2016)

The LawsAndFamilies questionnaire on legal family formats for same-sex and/or different-sex couples: Text of the questions and of the accompanying guidance document

By Kees Waaldijk, José María Lorenzo Villaverde, Natalie Nikolina and Giuseppe Zago

Abstract: This Working Paper contains the text of the LawsAndFamilies questionnaire, and the text of the guidance document provided to legal experts answering this questionnaire. These texts are preceded by a brief introduction to the background, aims and development of this questionnaire on legal family formats for same-sex and/or different-sex couples. The majority of questions ask if – in the jurisdiction of the legal expert concerned – a specific legal consequence is attached or not to (same-sex and/or different-sex) marriage, registered partnership and/or cohabitation. And it asks since when this is so. The questions are about legal aspects of formalisation, income and troubles, parenting, migration, splitting up and death. The questionnaire is used to create The LawsAndFamilies Database – Aspects of legal family formats for same-sex and different-sex couples, where from early 2017 the answers to the questionnaire provide an overview of the legal situation in more than 20 European countries.

Posted December 19 2016 – Read more













Working paper 63(2016)

Summary Report of Key Findings for WP6

By Daniela Del Boca, Chiara Monfardini and Sarah Grace See

Abstract: This report summarizes the key findings of the Work Package 6: “Child Care and Child Outcomes.” The general objective of the work package was to explore child care arrangements and the determinants and consequences of their usage for different families and different family members using an interdisciplinary child development process framework. To achieve this general objective, we focused on the following specific objectives: (1) To study how parental time allocation decision and income investment on children depend on family structure in different institutional contexts, (2) To analyse different dimensions of children outcomes and their determinants in terms of time and income investments and child care decisions, (3) To address gender differences (i.e., whether parents’ characteristics and child care have different impacts on the cognitive outcomes of girls and boys, (4) To study how different forms of parental and formal child care influence children outcomes in migrant and native families, (5) To deepen the understanding of the motivations of parents for using a particular source of child care, (6) To study families with disabled children in different countries of Europe concerning child care and implications on well-being of all family members, and (7) To study the social and health implications of child home versus municipality day care in Finland, and to compare the results with other European countries addressing association, if any, between specific child care arrangements and later cognitive achievement of children. We find overall positive effects of early parental and non-parental care on child outcomes.

Posted November 29 2016 – Read more







Working paper 62(2016)

Child Care and Child Outcomes:
A Comparison Across European Countries

By Daniela Del Boca, Chiara Monfardini and Sarah Grace See

Abstract: Using data from OECD’s PISA, Eurostat and World Bank’s WDI, we explore how child cognitive outcomes at the aggregate country level are affected by macroeconomic conditions, specifically government education expenditures. We also investigate how investments received in early life are linked to child educational outcomes when children are adolescents. We find that higher shares of the sample with pre-primary education in early years are associated with better later outcomes.

Posted November 28 2016 – Read more













Working paper 61(2016)

Intergenerational linkages in the family: The organization of caring and financial responsibilities: Summary of results

By Kasia Karpinska, Pearl A. Dykstra, Thijs van den Broek, Maja Djundeva, Anita Abramowska-Kmon, Irena I. Kotowska, Michaela Haragus, Paul-Teodor Haragus, Cornelia Muresan and Pau Marí-Klose

Abstract: This report summarizes the main results achieved by the Work Package 7: “Intergenerational linkages in the family: The organization of caring and financial responsibilities”. The general objective of this work package was to investigate how policy contexts shape the organization of caring and financial responsibilities for young and old family members, and consequently family well-being. Caring pertains to practical help, personal care, and emotional assistance. Indicators of family well-being are the psychological and physical health, functioning, and financial well-being of its members. To achieve this general objective, we focused on five specific objectives. We studied: (1) conditions under which co-residence is a preferred or a defaults living arrangement; (2) transfers “up” and “down” family lines and their implications for family well-being; (3) norms of family obligation and actual giving and receipt of financial support and care; (4) implications of different policy arrangements for inequalities in and between families; and (5) the effect of recent economic crisis on intergenerational dependencies. The outlined research projects were executed comparing different European countries with special emphasis on Eastern European countries.

Posted November 25 2016 – Read more












Working paper 60(2016)

The effects of the parental leave reform and the economic crisis on childbearing behavior in Iceland at the dawn of a new millennium

By Ari Klængur Jónsson

Abstract: In the first decade of the 21st century, two potentially influential events took place in Iceland in relation to subsequent fertility outcomes: a reform was enacted in the parental leave scheme between 2001 and 2003, and a deep economic crisis came ashore in late 2008. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects these two events had on first-, second-, and third-birth intensities. By means of event history analysis we analyse individual longitudinal register data, consisting of the total female population of relevant ages. We find that after the parental leave reform was implemented a declining trend in the age-standardized first-birth rate came to a halt and first-birth intensities stabilized. The development in the standardized second- and third-birth rates indicates that the reform had a positive influence on continued childbearing. After the reform, the propensity to have a second and a third child increased constantly until 2010. After the onset of the economic crisis, a trend of decreasing first-birth intensities re-emerged. In 2011, three years into the crisis, we see a turnaround in second- and third-birth rates, which began to decline and continued to do so until the end of the study period.

Posted November 4 2016 – Read more










Working paper 59(2016)

The Impact of Women’s Employment on
Divorce: Real Effect, Selection, or Anticipation?

By Daniele Vignoli, Anna Matysiak, Marta Styrc and Valentina Tocchioni

Abstract: The aim of this study is to deepen our understanding of the nexus between women’s employment and marital stability. We use data from the Generations and Gender Surveys to examine the impact of women’s employment on divorce in Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Poland. Our analytical strategy allows us to account for selection and anticipation mechanisms; i.e., we estimate marital disruption and employment jointly, and look not only at the effects of employment on marital stability, but also at the impact of time since employment entry. We find that women’s employment facilitates marital disruption in Italy and Poland, but not in Germany and Hungary, and discuss the results in light of these countries’ contextual arrangements. We also show that selection effects play out differently in different contexts. These findings highlight the importance of accounting for selection in divorce studies, especially in comparative studies. Finally, we notice traces of anticipation behaviors in Italy, which we attribute to the low employment levels among Italian women.

Posted August 3 2016 – Read more














Working paper 58(2016)

Double Disadvantage in a Nordic Welfare State:
A Demographic Analysis of the Single Mother
Employment Gap in Finland, 1987–2011

By Juho Härkönen, Eevi Lappalainen and Marika Jalovaara

Abstract: In this study, we demonstrate how an evolving educational gradient of single motherhood can interact with changing labor market conditions to shape labor market inequalities between partnered and single mothers. We analyze trends in the employment rates of partnered and single mothers in Finland from 1987 to 2011. In the late 1980s, Finnish single mothers’ employment rate was at an internationally high level and on par with that of partnered mothers. Ever since the 1990s’ economic crisis, single mothers have had a 8–10 percentage points lower employment rate than partnered mothers. During the same period, the prevalence of single motherhood increased particularly among the least educated, which meant that single mothers’ relative educational profiles have become increasingly disadvantageous. We use Chevan’s and Sutherland’s decomposition method to estimate how much of the increased gap between partnered and single mothers’ employment rates can be explained by compositional change and how much was due to employment rate differences net of compositional differences. Our findings point to an increasing double disadvantage: the gradually evolving disadvantage in educational backgrounds together with large employment rate differences among mothers with low educational attainment levels are an important explanation. These findings show how socio-demographic changes in interaction with a changing employment regime can produce inequalities by family structure also in a Nordic society known for its extensive support for mothers’ employment.

Posted August 3 2016 – Read more











Working paper 57(2016)

Report: Country-specific case studies on mixed marriages

By Amparo González-Ferrer, Hill Kulu, Tina Hannemann, Ognjen Obucina, Clara Cortina, Teresa Castro, Leen Rahnu, Allan Puur, Luule Sakkeus, Martin Klesment, Gina Potarca, Laura Bernardi and Mihaela Hărăguș

Abstract: Mixed marriages have long been considered important indicators of the social integration of immigrants, as well as potential factors of social and cultural change. Across Europe, for the period 2008-10, on average one in 12 married persons was in a mixed marriage. The range is from about one mixed married couple out of five in Switzerland and Latvia, to almost none in Romania, according to different estimates. The current report examines in depth the intermarriage dynamics among natives and immigrants in four countries (UK, Spain, Switzerland and Estonia), among persons belonging to different ethnic groups in Romania. When data allowed, the analyses also include a careful examination of the intermarriage behavior not only of immigrants but also of their descendants, which definitely adds a new angle to the research in this area. In addition, by analyzing jointly the determinants of mixed marriages for both immigrant origin partners and also their native counterparts, the report makes a step forward in opening new lines of research in this area. Finally, special attention has been paid in all the five case studies to the role that marriage market constraints and differences across gender and different origin and/or ethnic groups play in shaping the final distribution of couples in each of these countries.

Posted August 2 2016 – Read more Part 1

Read more Part 2











Working paper 56(2016)

A Comparative Study on Mixed Marriages among
Natives, Immigrants and their Descendants in Europe

By Tina Hannemann, Hill Kulu, Leen Rahnu, Allan Puur, Mihaela Haragus, Ognjen Obućina, Amparo González-Ferrer, Karel Neels, Layla Van den Berg, Ariane Pailhé, Gina Potarca and Laura Bernardi

Abstract: This study investigates the formation of mixed marriages in seven European countries: the United Kingdom, France, Romania, Switzerland, Estonia, Belgium and Spain. While there is a growing interest in the spread and stability of mixed marriages, little research investigates inter-ethnic unions from a comparative perspective. Using individual-level longitudinal data from seven European countries and applying Poisson regression models, the study shows, first, that for several countries, the levels of mixed marriages vary more across ethnic groups within countries than between the countries. Second, immigrants from geographically and culturally distant origins show high levels of intra-group marriages. Third, marriage patterns among descendants of immigrants fall in between those of immigrants and natives, but for some groups endogamous marriages remain dominate.

Posted August 2 2016 – Read more










Working paper 55(2016)

Social cognition in preschoolers:
effect of early experience and individual differences

By Daniela Bulgarelli and Paola Molina

Abstract: Social cognition is the way in which people process, remember and use information in social contexts to explain and predict people’s behaviour (Fiske & Taylor, 2013). Several dimensions external and internal to the child can influence children’s social cognition. This study aims at analysing the effect of early type of care (0-3 years of age), gender, migrant status and maternal education on the social cognition of 118 Italian preschoolers. All the measures were not parent- or teacher-reported, but assessed through direct observation of the children. Type of care in early infancy, migrant stratus and gender did not show a direct effect on social cognition, whereas maternal education showed a direct effect. Maternal education effect interacted with type of care, migrant status and gender.

Posted August 2 2016 – Read more











Working paper 54(2016)

Sexual orientation, family and kinship
in France, Iceland, Italy and Spain

By Marie Digoix, Marina Franchi, José Ignacio Pichardo Galán, Giulia Selmi,
Matias de Stéfano Barbero, Matthias Thibeaud and Jose A. M. Vela

Abstract: The past decades have seen significant changes in the way same-sex sexualities are regulated in European countries, albeit discrimination and heterosexism are still occurring on a daily basis. The research through semi-structured interviews was conducted on lesbian and gay respondents in France, Iceland, Italy and Spain, four European countries with different social contexts and legal frameworks. In a comparative perspective, it examines how laws are perceived to impact one’s relationships and one’s parental project. Discrimination is still present in the four countries at different degrees, however the existence of laws on access to marriage and parenting is regarded by many as crucial for fostering inclusion. From a social and economic point of view, the narratives evidenced that the law is not only a framework to live within: when legal support is provided, adaptation to the heteronormative structures are facilitated and welcomed by all while this lack of support makes everyday life difficult. In this paper we wish to report on the key results of the research.

Posted August 2 2016 – Read more











Working paper 53(2016)

Intentions in the life courses

By Dimiter Philipov, Maria Rita Testa and Ina Jaschinski

Abstract: The main purpose of this working paper is to describe a potential sub-field of research within the scope of life course studies. This sub-field is defined with intentions for performing life course events. The paper describes a diversity of lines of research providing empirical illustrations based on the use of survey data. A restricted set of events and intentions are considered within the life trajectory experienced by young adults, with an emphasis on the intention to have a first child.
We first describe events and intentions at the macro level. The discussion continues at the micro level including applications of the theory of planned behaviour. Special attention is given to concurrent intentions, i.e. intentions stated at one and the same time. These intentions might be competing or supporting.
We discuss intentions in the light of their realisation or non-realisation. Findings support the existence of links among intentions, in that some are competing and others supporting. Psychological distress is checked and its effect is found for individuals who fail to realise their plans.
The results support the importance of a broad area of research that needs increased attention by researchers. It can provide valuable policy implications.

Posted August 2 2016 – Read more











Working paper 52(2016)

Women’s and men’s education and partnership formation:
Does the field of education matter?

By Teresa Martín-García, Marta Seiz and Teresa Castro-Martín

Abstract: Using data from the GGS, this study explores the effect of field of education on first union formation for women and men born since the 1960s in Norway, Austria, Belgium and Poland. Educational attainment is known to influence differently the union patterns of men and women. These differences in partnership formation have been traditionally explained using the economic interpretation of education. We suggest that looking at fields of study may yield additional insights and offer a more complete picture for understanding union entry patterns. The analysis focuses on the effect of two dimensions of education –educational level and educational field– on first union entry and union type. We find that, in some countries, differences between educational fields have the same weight as those between educational levels. The findings suggest that the field of study reflects unobserved value orientations but also different degrees of opportunities in the labour market. The inclusion of this covariate contributes thus to nuancing and expanding our understanding of how education influences family formation.

Posted May 26 2016 – Read more











Working paper 51(2016)

Differences in parental separation effects on school grades across immigrant backgrounds in Sweden

By Jeylan Erman and Juho Härkönen

Abstract: Immigration and family change are two demographic processes, which have changed the face of European societies and are associated with inequalities in child outcomes. Yet there is little research outside the United States on whether the effects of family dynamics on children’s life chances vary by immigrant background. We asked whether the effect of parental separation on educational achievement varies between immigrant backgrounds (ancestries) in Sweden. We used Swedish population register data on two birth cohorts (born in 1995 and 1996) of Swedish-born children and analyzed parental separation penalties on grade sums and non-passing grades (measured at ninth grade) across ten ancestry groups, defined by the mother’s country of birth. We found that the parental separation effects vary across ancestries, being weakest among children with Chilean-born mothers and strongest among children with mother’s born in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In general, the effects were weaker in groups in which parental separation was a more common experience.

Posted April 29 2016 – Read more











Working paper 50(2016)

Transition to adulthood in France:
Do descendants of immigrants differ from natives?

By Giulia Ferrari and Ariane Pailhé

Abstract: This study examines whether major changes in patterns of transition to adulthood have taken place among descendants of immigrants in France. We simultaneously analyze the demographic events that make up the transition to adulthood for two main groups of immigrants’ descendants, i.e., North African and Southern European, and compare them to the pathway of native-born French. We identify five groups of similar trajectories using sequence and cluster analysis. In order to analyze how trajectories to adulthood are shaped by ethnic origin, gender, background characteristics and education, we estimate multinomial logistic regression on the likelihood of belonging to each of the five selected clusters. We find fairly similar paths to adulthood for descendants of immigrants and natives. However, specific patterns do emerge for immigrants’ descendants. They stay significantly longer in the parental home, partly because their parents come from societies characterized by strong family ties, and partly because they have greater difficulties becoming self-sufficient. Descendants of immigrants from North Africa, especially women, also have a lower probability of cohabiting. Finally, descendants of immigrants from North Africa behave more traditionally while descendants of immigrants from Southern Europe behave more like native French.

Posted March 21 2016 – Read more










Working paper 49(2015)

Vulnerability of families with children:
Major risks, future challenges and policy recommendations

By Monika Mynarska, Bernhard Riederer, Ina Jaschinski, Desiree Krivanek, Gerda Neyer, and Livia Oláh

Abstract: The study employs qualitative methodology to investigate what challenges for social policy might appear in the future, given different economic and cultural developments. We seek to understand what factors might be crucial for the wellbeing of families and what policy measures might improve it. Drawing on the previous findings of Work Package 10 of the FamiliesAndSocieties project, we concentrate on vulnerable families. First, we explore what types of families are considered as vulnerable. Next, we discuss various factors and drivers that are likely to affect the situation of such families in the future. Finally, we investigate what policy measures might be crucial to prevent the “reproduction of vulnerability” within families. We use data from focus group interviews (FGIs) that were conducted in five European countries with policymakers and stakeholders. Discussions with these informants gave us rich and unique insights, outlining the most important areas of interest for future policy measures to be designed in order to improve the situation of European families.

Posted December 7 2015 – Read more










Working paper 48(2015)

Gender equality within dual-earner and dual-career couples
across different policy regimes and norm systems in Europe

By Susanne Fahlén

Abstract: This study focuses the division of housework among various couple earner types in ten European countries, using data from the European Social Survey, and examines if relative resources, time availability and gender ideology moderate this association. The study combines the conventional economic and gender based approaches with an institutional framework on work-family reconciliation policies and gender norms to examine if the division of housework is institutionally embedded. The result shows that dual-career couples, female-career couples and female single-earner couples divide the housework more equal than dual-earner couples. This relates to the fact that women do less housework. The cross-national analysis show apparent differences between dual-earner and dual-career couples, yet the result reveals smaller gender difference in the division of housework in countries with more institutional support for work-family reconciliation and less traditional gender norms, suggesting that couples decisions on how to divide the housework are institutionally embedded.

Posted December 7 2015 – Read more










Working paper 47(2015)

Does child care availability play a role in maternal employment and
children’s development? Evidence from Italy

By Daniela Del Boca, Chiara Pronzato, and Giuseppe Sorrenti

Abstract: Our study explores the impact of selection criteria on the costs and benefits of early child care for mothers’ employment, child development, and municipalities’ revenues by exploiting the selection criteria of different Italian municipalities in assigning child care slots. In Italy, only around 13% of the demand for public child care coverage is met, and the number of applications exceeds the number of places in child care services in all regions. In conditions of excess demand, municipalities introduce selection criteria to give priority to families for whom access to public child care appears to be more valuable. We analyse through simulations the consequences of introducing different selection criteria, using a representative Italian sample of households with children under three years of age (EU-SILC), and the selection criteria employed by six representative Italian municipalities. Our results have interesting policy implications. The benefits for child outcomes and mothers’ employment are stronger in municipalities where the selection criteria give priority to more disadvantaged households. However, in these contexts selected households are less able to contribute to the financial sustainability of the service.

Posted December 7 2015 – Read more











Working paper 46(2015)

How institutional contexts matter:
Migration and domestic care services and the capabilities of migrants in Spain and Sweden

By Barbara Hobson, Zenia Hellgren and Luwam Bede

Abstract: Migrant care work is now part of the equation in solving the care deficit in many European countries; however different policy incentives and political settings shape the expansion in privatization/marketization of care/domestic work and the services migrants provide for them. Using Sen’s capabilities framework this study engages with the processes shaping private markets for care/domestic services in households and what effects they have on the conditions of work, wellbeing and scope of alternatives of migrants in two societies that differ along the triad of regimes: welfare/care, migration and employment. Based upon multiple data sources including 90 interviews conducted in three cities, Barcelona, Madrid and Stockholm, we find precarious working conditions in the sector in both countries. We conclude with a discussion of the dilemmas in constructing policies for improving the conditions in the private care/domestic services sector and addressing the care deficit in European societies with aging populations.

Posted November 3 2015 – Read more











Working paper 45(2015)

Do parental separation and single motherhood strengthen
intergenerational inequality in educational attainment?
A decomposition analysis for Germany, Italy, the UK and the US

By Fabrizio Bernardi and Diederik Boertien

Abstract: We test the hypothesis that parental separation and single motherhood amplify children’s inequality in educational attainment by social background. This hypothesis lies on two premises a) parental separation and single motherhood are more common among low Socio-Economic Status (SES) families and b) they are also associated to worse educational outcomes for children. We argue that there is a third premise that is largely overlooked in the literature, namely that c) there is no heterogeneity by social background in the consequences of growing up in a non-intact family. If the third premise does not hold and the consequences are more negative for children of high SES parents, the overall aggregate contribution of parental separation and single motherhood is difficult to predict a priori. We test the hypothesis in four countries that differ in the prevalence and consequences of parental separation and single motherhood: Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US. We use an Oaxaca decomposition approach to calculate a ‘counterfactual’ estimate of inequality of educational attainment by social background in the absence of non-intact families. Overall, we find very little influence of family structure on the level of inequality of educational attainment by social background in the four countries considered.

Posted November 3 2015 – Read more










Working paper 44(2015)

Changing families in the European Union:
trends and policy implications

By Livia Sz. Oláh

Abstract: In this paper we discuss changes in family patterns in the European Union over the past fifty years and the policy implications of these trends. First, we address regional developments in family formation, with respect to childbearing- and partnership patterns, and how these changes affect household structures in different European countries. Thereafter, we turn our attention to socio-economic trends, focusing especially on changes in women’s labour force participation. We address the linkages between these trends and the new family patterns, followed by a discussion on policies, mainly at the EU-level. In the brief conclusion we summarize the main policy challenges ahead. Throughout, we rely on data from the Eurostat Database, Eurobarometer, OECD Labour Force Statistics and the OECD Family Database.

Posted September 7 2015 – Read more










Working paper 43(2015)

Assisted reproductive technology in Europe.
Usage and regulation in the context of cross-border reproductive care

By Patrick Präg and Melinda C. Mills

Abstract: This study reviews assisted reproductive technologies (ART) usage and policies across European countries and scrutinizes emerging issues related to cross-border reproductive care (or, ‘reproductive tourism’). Although Europe is the largest market for ART, the extent of usage varies widely across countries. This can be attributed to legislation, affordability, the type of reimbursement, and norms surrounding childbearing and conception. ART legislation in Europe has been growing in the past four years, with all countries now having some form of legislation. Countries with complete coverage of treatments via national health plans have the highest level of ART utilization. Legal marriage or a stable union is often a prerequisite for access to ART, with only half of European countries permitting single women and few granting access to lesbian women. Restrictive national legislation can be easily circumvented when crossing national boundaries for ART treatments, but raises important questions pertaining to safety and equity of treatments.

Posted September 7 2015 – Read more










Working paper 42(2015)

Children who do not attend day care:
What are the implications for educational outcomes?

By Heikki Hiilamo, Anita Haataja, and Marko Merikukka

Abstract: Earlier studies have shown that participation in public day care can enhance school performance especially among disadvantaged children. Child home care allowance scheme supports home care of six-year olds if they have a younger sibling who is also staying at home and not attending public day care. This study asks how Finnish six-year-olds with younger sibling(s) who stay at home perform in school when compared with children attending public day care. As outcome variables we used the two dichotomous variables measuring school performance at age 15 to 16 and entry into further education by age of 21. The study utilized birth cohort 1987 (N=7910) data. The overall results did not show statistically significant differences between the day care and home care groups. Among disadvantaged families the home care group had more often poor grades.

Posted August 11 2015 – Read more










Working paper 41(2015)

Early childcare, maternal education and family origins:
differences in cognitive and linguistic outcomes
throughout childhood

By Daniela Bulgarelli and Paola Molina

Abstract: Centre-based care in early childhood has been associated with better scores on linguistic and cognitive tests at later times. Nevertheless, there is a lack of consensus about the stability of these effects across the preschool and primary school stages. Furthermore, no data about the effects of early care have been reported from the Italian context. Using a cross-sectional design, our study analysed the effects of early childcare, maternal education and parental origin (native versus foreign) on the cognitive and linguistic outcomes of 175 three- to ten-year-old children, from a Northern Italian city. Analysis of the single effects of type of care, maternal education and parental origin on children’s outcomes, showed no differences. When the interactions among these variables were explored, centre-based care appeared to play a protective role with respect to maternal education, whereas home-based care appeared to play a protective role with respect to parental origin. The importance of educational intervention and training for professionals to better support children’s development will be discussed.

Posted August 11 2015 – Read more













Working paper 40(2015)

A comparative study on fertility among
the descendants of immigrants in Europe

By Hill Kulu, Tina Hannemann, Ariane Pailhé, Karel Neels, Leen Rahnu, Allan Puur, Sandra Krapf, Amparo González-Ferrer, Teresa Castro-Martin, Elisabeth Kraus, Laura Bernardi, Andrés Guarin, Gunnar Andersson, Lotta Persson

Abstract: This study investigates the childbearing patterns of the descendants of immigrants in selected European countries, with a focus on ethnic minority women whose parents arrived in Europe from high-fertility countries. While the fertility levels of immigrants to Europe have been examined in the recent literature, the childbearing patterns among their descendants have received little attention. Using longitudinal data from eight European countries and applying Poisson regression models, the study shows that many descendants of immigrants exhibit first-birth levels that are similar to the ‘native’ population in their respective countries; however, first-birth levels are elevated among women of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin in the UK and for those of Turkish descent in France and Belgium. Transition rates to a second child vary less across ethnic groups. Most ethnic minority women in the UK, France and Belgium show significantly higher third-birth levels than ‘natives’ in those countries. The inclusion of women’s level of education in the analysis has little effect on fertility differences across the ethnic groups. Overall, the childbearing behaviour of the descendants of immigrants falls in between the fertility pathways experienced by their parents’ generation and the respective ‘native’ populations. The analysis supports the idea that both the mainstream society and the minority subculture shape the childbearing patterns of the descendants of immigrants in Europe.

Posted August 11 2015 – Read more











Working paper 39(2015)

Country-specific case studies on fertility among
the descendants of immigrants

Introduction: Hill Kulu and Tina Hannemann Germany: Sandra Krapf and Katharina Wolf Sweden: Gunnar Andersson and Lotta Persson United Kingdom: Hill Kulu and Tina Hannemann France: Ariane Pailhé Spain: Amparo González-Ferrer, Teresa Castro-Martín and Elisabeth Kraus Switzerland: Andrés Guarin and Laura Bernardi

Abstract: This paper consists of six case studies on fertility among the descendants of immigrants by comparing their patterns to those of the ‘native’ population. The countries that are included in the analysis are Germany, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Switzerland. All of the case studies use large-scale longitudinal data and apply event-history analysis. The analysis shows that the descendants of immigrants have lower first-birth rates than ‘natives’ suggesting the postponement of childbearing among ethnic minorities. Some ethnic minority groups have somewhat higher second-birth risks than ‘natives’, but many show significantly higher third-birth rates. Fertility differences between the ‘native’ and ethnic minority women largely persist once women’s educational level is included in the analysis, but decrease after factors related to language, religion and family of origin are controlled.

Posted August 11 2015 – Read more Part 1

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Working paper 38(2015)

Partners’ educational pairings and fertility across Europe

By Natalie Nitsche, Anna Matysiak, Jan Van Bavel, and Daniele Vignoli

Abstract: We provide new evidence on the education-fertility relationship by using EU-SILC panel data on 17 countries to investigate how couples’ educational pairings predict their childbearing behaviour. We focus on differences in first, second and third birth rates between couples with varying combinations of partners’ education. Our results show that there are indeed important differences in how education relates to fertility depending on the education of the partner. First, homogamous highly educated couples show a distinct childbearing behaviour, at least in some countries. They tend to postpone the first birth most and display the highest transition rates to second and third births subsequently. Second, contrary to what may be expected based on conventional economic models of the family, hypergamous couples with a highly educated man and a lower educated female partner display among the lowest second and third birth transition rates across the majority of countries. Our findings underscore the relevance of interacting both partners’ education for a deeper understanding of the education-fertility relationship.

Posted June 9 2015 – Read more











Working paper 37(2015)

Determinants of mental well-being among
Latin American adolescents in Spain

By Héctor Cebolla-Boado and Yumiko Aratani

Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to examine the mental health and well-being of Latin American adolescents in Spain and explore the potential effects of immigration and ethnic concentration. Spain experienced a massive influx of immigrants in the last two decades, yet the data on immigrant adolescents are scarce and no previous research examined the well-being of immigrant adolescents in Spain. Meanwhile, epidemiological research in the United States shows that adolescents of Mexican and Central American origin are generally at higher risk of having mental health problems than other racial/ethnic groups, even after controlling for age, gender and socioeconomic status. We here employ a unique cross-sectional dataset of adolescents in the city of Madrid, Spain that includes an over-sample of immigrant adolescents. Our results indicate that immigrant Latin American adolescents are more likely to be emotionally distressed compared with native-born Spanish adolescents. Age of migration is one of the significant determinants of poor mental health outcomes. The results of this study also indicate a strong association between mental distress and segregation and ethnic concentration, measured by the ethnic origin of friends, classmates and the ethnic composition of neighbourhood.

Posted June 9 2015 – Read more










Working paper 36(2015)

The impact of economic uncertainty on
childbearing intentions in Europe

By Susanne Fahlén and Livia Oláh

Abstract: This paper examines the interplay between societal economic conditions, individual economic uncertainty and short-term childbearing intentions in ten European countries representing different welfare regimes. Using data from the European Social Survey (2004/05 and 2010/11), we study i) aggregated short-term childbearing intentions of childless men and women, and of one-child parents in relation to changes in unemployment and employment protection and ii) the micro-level association between childbearing intentions and perceived economic uncertainty. Our results indicate a linkage between economic uncertainty in the society and people’s short-term childbearing intentions across welfare states, but this relationship varies by gender, age and parity. The micro-level analysis indicates that perceived economic security is an important factor for childbearing plans, however this vary by gender, age, parenthood status and institutional context.

Posted June 9 2015 – Read more










Working paper 35(2015)

Report on incentive structures of parents’ use
of particular childcare forms

By Alison Koslowski, Caitlin McLean, and Ingela Naumann

Abstract: Parents across the European Union use a range of childcare arrangements. This working paper contributes to our understanding of the determinants and consequences of different childcare arrangements for different families and different family members. The paper has three aims. The first is to deepen understanding of the motivations of parents for using a particular source of childcare. The second is to set the scene for an exploration of the extent of policy implementation gaps between an administrative understanding of statutory childcare service provision and the actual experience of users of these services. Third, the report highlights where the policy community might benefit from improved data to address certain knowledge gaps around childcare use. This research employs a mixed methods approach, combining primary data collection in six countries (Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden, UK); reviews of the statutory childcare policies in these six countries; and a methodological critique of the available data on childcare use for those countries, including harmonized comparative survey data. The central aim is for this working paper to be used as a reference tool for further analyses.

Posted April 21 2015 – Read more










Working paper 34(2015)

Aid policies for young people in Europe and the OECD countries

By Olivier Thévenon

Abstract: The paper examines how European countries are helping young adults to enter into adult life, i.e. to leave parental home and to become economically selfsufficient. To do so, we examine the way in which public aid is broken down into the areas mentioned above (education, housing, employment, and social and child benefits) to result in a more or less diversified and coherent set of aid more or less able to foster the transition to adulthood. A particular attention is paid to the existence or non-existence of aid in these areas and the extent to which this aid covers the most vulnerable. Our analysis highlights different configurations which only partly correspond to the usual geographical divisions distinguishing social welfare regimes. Considerable differences are observed between Nordic countries, as well as between some English-speaking countries. France stands also out through its similarity to some Nordic countries and difference with most Continental European countries.

Posted April 21 2015 – Read more Part 1

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Working paper 33(2015)

Increasing childlessness in Europe:
Time trends and country differences

By Anneli Miettinen, Anna Rotkirch, Ivett Szalma, Annalisa Donno, and Maria-Letizia Tanturri

Abstract: This paper provides an overview of trends in female and male childlessness in Europe over the last decades and explores associations between cohort childlessness and national demographic and social indicators. We also estimate proportions of voluntary childless people. Results show that childlessness has increased at ages 30–34 and 40–44 years among both men and women throughout Europe, with few exceptions. Childlessness is more common among men with little education, and among women with either very high or very low education. Childlessness is higher in countries where mean age at marriage is high and entry into motherhood is on average more delayed. Childlessness remains negatively associated with proportions ever married, and also with completed cohort fertility. The last association has even grown stronger in the youngest cohorts, suggesting that in a low fertility context, increasing childlessness contributes markedly to overall fertility. The prevalence of childlessness does not seem to be associated with proportions of women with high education, with women’s employment rates and with divorce rates at country level. Higher childlessness is found in countries with widespread individualist values.

Posted March 3 2015 – Read more











Working paper 32(2015)

State-of-the-art report
Childlessness in Europe

By Maria Letizia Tanturri, Melinda Mills, Anna Rotkirch, Tomáš Sobotka, Judit Takács, Anneli Miettinen, Cristina Faludi, Venetia Kantsa, and Despina Nasiri

Abstract: In the last decades, European societies have experienced changes in the postponement of the age of having a first child, shrinking family size, and increased (in)voluntary childlessness. This report provides a review of the state-of-the-art research in relation to one of the central research goals of Working Package 4: to examine the rise, determinants and societal consequences of childlessness by different perspectives. The report provides an overview of the central macro-level determinants of childlessness among women and men firstly from a quantitative perspective examining trends, relevant determinants and measures. We will then outline the central micro-level determinants of childlessness among women, men and couples by examining core characteristics of childless individuals such as higher education or marital disruption. We then turn to an overview of anthropological and qualitative examinations of the determinants of childlessness and the psychological, social and socio-political consequences of childlessness. A reflection on potential data sources to study childlessness and a discussion on research gaps are offered in the concluding chapters.

Posted March 3 2015 – Read more










Working paper 31(2015)

Does child care availability play a role in
maternal employment and children’s development?
Evidence from Italy

By Ylenia Brilli, Daniela Del Boca, Chiara Daniela Pronzato

Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of public child care availability in Italy in mothers’ working status and children’s scholastic achievements. We use a newly available dataset containing individual standardized test scores of pupils attending the second grade of primary school in 2009-10 in conjunction with data on public child care availability. Our estimates indicate a positive and significant effect of child care availability on both mothers’ working status and children’s Language test scores. We find that a percentage change in public child care coverage increases mothers’ probability to work by 1.3 percentage points and children’s Language test scores by 0.85 percent of one standard deviation; we do not find any effect on Math test scores. Moreover, the impact of a percentage change in public child care on mothers’ employment and children’s Language test scores is greater in provinces where child care availability is more limited.

Posted March 3 2015 – Read more









Working paper 30(2015)

Childcare, mothers’ work and children’s schooling outcomes.
An analysis of Italian data

By Daniela Del Boca, Silvia Pasqua, and Simona Suardi

Abstract: In this paper we explore the relationship between parents’ inputs, childcare inputs and child cognitive outcomes using one of the few data sources available for Italy, the ISFOL-PLUS dataset. Our empirical results indicate that mothers’ work, in reducing the time devoted to children, has negative effects on children’s academic results. This impact, however, is offset by the use of childcare. The positive effects of childcare are stronger for children from lower income and education households.


Posted March 3 2015 – Read more












Working paper 29(2015)

Mother’s time allocation, child care and child cognitive development

By Ylenia Brilli

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of maternal employment and non-parental child care on child cognitive development, taking into account the mother’s time allocation between leisure and child-care time. I estimate a behavioral model, in which maternal labor supply, non-parental child care, goods expenditure and time allocation decisions are considered to be endogenous choices of the mother. The child cognitive development depends on maternal and non-parental child care and on the goods bought for the child. The model is estimated using US data from the Child Development Supplement and the Time Diary Section of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The results show that the productivity of mother’s child-care time substantially differs by a mother’s level of education. Moreover, the child-care time of college-educated mothers is more productive than non-parental child care. The simulation of maternity leave policies, mandating mothers not to work in the first two years of the child’s life, reveals that the impact on the child’s test score at age five is either positive or negative, depending on whether the leave is paid or not. The heterogeneous productivity of mothers’ time leads to different allocation choices between child care and leisure: college-educated mothers re-allocate a larger fraction of their time out of work to child care than do the lower educated, while the opposite holds for leisure.

Posted March 3 2015 – Read more










Working paper 28(2015)

Fertility after separation: Second births in
higher order unions in Germany

By Michaela Kreyenfeld and Valerie Heintz-Martin

Abstract: This paper uses recent data from the German family panel (pairfam) to examine the fertility behavior after separation. More specifically, we focus on the transition to the second child and compare the behavior of respondents in ongoing partnerships (couples who are still partnered with the mother/father of their first child) with those who have experienced family dissolution after the first birth. The investigation reveals strong gender differences in post-separation fertility behavior. We also find large regional differences. Eastern Germans had much lower second birth rates than western Germans. However, they were more prone than western Germans to have their second child with a parent who was not the father or the mother of their firstborn child. This result is in line with descriptive findings on the diversity of family structures in eastern Germany.

Posted March 3 2015 – Read more










Working paper 27(2015)

Fathers on call – A study on the sharing of care work among
parents in Sweden. A mixed methods approach

By Marie Evertsson, Katarina Boye, and Jeylan Erman

Abstract: By combining quantitative analyses of survey data with qualitative analyses of interviews with first-time parents, this study gives new insights into parents’ division of parental leave in Sweden and the links between fathers’ leave length and the division of child care when both are back at work again. Quantitative results show that mothers’ and fathers’ parental leave lengths vary substantially with the reasons for division of leave and that fathers’ parental leave length is related to the long-term division of child care as well as to mothers’ satisfaction with it. Qualitative results suggest that although gender equality and equal parenting is central to the first-time, middle-class parents that were interviewed, more traditional norms and ideals about the mother as the primary caretaker may stand in the way of an equal sharing of the leave during the child’s first year. The study also suggests several mechanisms through which fathers’ parental leave may causally influence later division of childcare.

Posted February 4 2015 – Read more










Working paper 26(2015)

The reversal of the gender gap in education and
female breadwinners in Europe

By Martin Klesment and Jan Van Bavel

Abstract: While men have historically attained more education than women around the world, this gender imbalance in education has reversed in many countries. In these countries, the wife now typically has as much or more education as the husband, while it has always been the other way around in the past. Using the 2007 and 2011 rounds of the EU-SILC for 27 countries), this paper investigates to what extent the newly emerging pattern of educational assortative mating is associated with a higher proportion of women who out-earn their partners in Europe. We find that this proportion varies on the country level between 20% and almost 50% for childless women and between 3 and 25% for women with toddlers. If a woman has more education than her partner, this clearly increases the odds that she earns more than half of the couple income. College educated mothers of school age children with a less educated partner are as likely to be the main breadwinner as college educated women without children but with a college educated man.

Posted January 26 2015 – Read more







Working paper 25(2015)

Analysis of determinants and prevalence of LAT

By Dimitri Mortelmans, Inge Pasteels, Arnaud Régnier-Loilier, Daniele Vignoli, and Stefano Mazzuco

Abstract: One of the non-standard family forms that emerges and recently became more visible, both in society and in science is a “non-residential partnership”, well-known as Living Apart Together or briefly “LAT”. Despite the growing visibility of this new family form, determining the statistical incidence of LAT is complex for two main reasons. First, LAT partnerships are not registered in any official statistics. Second, a generally accepted definition of LAT is absent. In this deliverable, we collect several studies that gives an overview of the prevalence and the determinants of LAT in Europe.

Posted January 26 2015 – Read more







Working paper 24(2015)

Shared physical custody and children’s experience of stress

By Jani Turunen

Abstract: This paper studies shared physical custody in Sweden. We ask whether children in 50/50 shared physical custody settings are more likely to report high levels of stress compared to children living with a single parent or with a parent and a stepparent full time or most of the time. The analysis uses logistic regression analysis and is based on the Swedish Surveys of Living Conditions (ULF). Children living in a 50/50 shared physical custody setting reported significantly lower levels of stress than the children living full time with one parent after their separation.

Posted January 26 2015 – Read more







Working paper 23(2014)

Families with disabled children in different European countries

By Paola Di Giulio, Dimiter Philipov, and Ina Jaschinski

Abstract: This report focuses on the effect of the presence of a disabled child in a family and in particular on its demographically relevant consequences in a comparative framework. Couples who rear a disabled child are more frequently unstable, more often forego their fertility intentions, more frequently suffer from economic difficulties, show more traditional gender role arrangements, are more frequently in bad health, and have lower well-being than families without disabilities. The consequences are also different for mothers and fathers: fathers of disabled children have fewer emotional exchanges, while mothers tend to suffer more in terms of social contact.

Posted December 1 2014 – Read more








Working paper 22(2014)

Non-resident parent-child contact after marital dissolution and
parental repartnering: Evidence from Italy

By Silvia Meggiolaro and Fausta Ongaro

Abstract: With the diffusion of marital instability, the number of children who spend some of their childhood without one of their parent has become not negligible even in Italy. In this paper we consider the frequency of contact between children and their non-resident parent after separation with a double aim: a) to analyze the impact of parental repartnering on non-resident parent’s contact with their children; b) to investigate whether these effects are differentiated according to the sex of non-resident parent. Results show that the repartnering of parents reduces the non-resident parent-child contact only in the case of non-resident father; in the case of a non-resident mother, repartnering actually increases contact.

Posted September 22 2014 – Read more







Working paper 21(2014)

Children’s time use and family structure in Italy

By Letizia Mencarini, Silvia Pasqua and Agnese Romiti

Abstract: A wide range of sociological and psychological studies have shown that children have different cognitive and behavioural outcomes depending on whether they grow up in intact or non-intact families. These gaps may be attributable to differences in the amounts of time and money parents invest in their children, which can in turn result in differences in the amount of time children invest in educational activities. In this paper, we investigate whether children who live with a single parent devote more or less time to reading and studying at home than children who live with both parents. We use data from the Italian Time Use Survey. Focusing on children between five and 18 years old, our analysis shows that living in a single-parent household reduces the amount of time children devote to reading and studying.

Posted September 22 2014 – Read more









Working paper 20(2014)

Early child care and child outcomes: the role of grandparents
Evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study

By Daniela Del Boca, Daniela Piazzalunga and Chiara Pronzato

Abstract: In this paper, we focus on the impact of early grandparents’ care on child cognitive outcomes, in the short and medium term, using data from the Millennium Cohort Study (UK). Compared with children looked after in a formal care centre, children cared by grandparents (as well as parents) are better in naming objects, but worse in tests concerning basic concepts development, problem-solving, mathematical concepts and constructing ability. These results hide strong heterogeneities: on the one hand, the positive association between family care and child outcomes is stronger for children in more advantaged households; on the other hand, the negative association is significant only for children in more disadvantaged households. In order to assess a causal link between early care and child outcomes, we employ panel methods and instrumental variables techniques. The results we obtain confirm the cross section results.

Posted September 22 2014 – Read more







Working paper 19(2014)

Intergenerational transmission of divorce – the Swedish trend

By Michael Gähler and Juho Härkönen

Abstract: We analyze birth cohort patterns in the intergenerational transmission of divorce and family dissolution in Sweden. It is well known that parental separation is associated with a higher risk of own divorce, but less is known whether these associations have changed or remained stable over time. There are strong theoretical reasons to expect changes in this pattern, but there are only few empirical studies, partly due to the lack of appropriate data. We use population register data from six birth cohorts (born 1950-75) of Swedish men and women to study cohort patterns in the intergenerational transmission of divorce and family dissolution during a time of rapid family and social change. Our findings show no trend over the birth cohorts.

Posted September 22 2014 – Read more







Working paper 18(2014)

Report on the futures task force workshop

By Dimiter Philipov, Ina Jaschinski, Jana Vobecká, Paola Di Giulio, and Thomas Fent

Abstract: The Futures task force workshop in the framework of the forward looking activities in the FamiliesAndSocieties FP7 project was designed with the purpose to provide information on the scope of family-related issues that refer to a foresight view on the family in Europe. 25 stakeholders and 12 project participants expressed their opinion on four pre-designed questions formulated along a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) framework. The Workshop delivered a long list of notes and recommendations. These notes served as generator of ideas which brought to the front several important topics.

Posted September 3 2014 – Read more







Working paper 17(2014)

Household choices and child development

By Daniela Del Boca, Christopher Flinn and Matthew Wiswall

Abstract: The growth in labour market participation among women with young children has raised concerns about its implications for child cognitive development. We estimate a model of the cognitive development process of children nested within an otherwise standard model of household behaviour. Our empirical results indicate that both parents’ time inputs are important for the cognitive development of their children, particularly when the child is young. Money expenditures are less productive in terms of producing child quality.

Posted August 12 2014 – Read more







Working paper 16(2014)

Methodological report: measurement of
education-specific mating squeeze

By Yolien De Hauw, Francesca Piazza and Jan Van Bavel

Abstract: A long-standing theory in family demography points out that marriage rates for both men and women are affected by the number of suitable marriage partners available in the local marriage market. In its most basic form, the marriage squeeze hypothesis holds that marriage prospects are lower if the number of unmarried persons of the desired age is low. We propose to update the concept of the marriage squeeze in ways that make it more relevant for partnership and family formation today. This paper reviews ways of measuring the education-specific mating squeeze.

Posted August 12 2014 – Read more







Working paper 15(2014)

Parental divorce during childhood in Sweden:
Changed experience, unchanged effect

By Michael Gähler and Eva-Lisa Palmtag

Abstract: During the last century, the proportion of children and adolescents who have experienced a parental divorce or separation has increased dramatically, in Sweden and elsewhere. Vast research has shown that children in these families fare less well than children in intact families, both in the short and in the long run and on a number of outcomes. Much less is known about whether parental divorce means the same for children and adolescents today as it did a century ago. We find no evidence of magnitude change in the association between parental divorce/separation and two child outcomes, psychological well-being and educational attainment.

Posted August 12 2014 – Read more







Working paper 14(2014)

A comparative study on partnership dynamics among
immigrants and their descendants

By Tina Hannemann, Hill Kulu, Amparo González-Ferrer, Ariane Pailhé,
Leen Rahnu, and Allan Puur

Abstract: This study investigates union formation and dissolution among immigrants and their descendants in four European countries with different migration histories and welfare state policies (United Kingdom, Estonia, France and Spain). The analysis shows a significant variation in partnership trajectories across migrant groups in some countries and similar union trajectories for some migrant groups in different countries.

Posted August 12 2014 – Read more










Working paper 13(2014)

Report: Country-specific case Studies on partnership
dynamics among immigrants and their descendants

Introduction: Hill Kulu
Estonia: Leen Rahnu, Allan Puur, Luule Sakkeus, and Martin Klesment
France: Ariane Pailhé
Switzerland: Andrés Guarin and Laura Bernardi
United Kingdom: Tina Hannemann and Hill Kulu
Sweden: Kirk Scott, Gunnar Andersson and Ognjen Obucina
Spain: Amparo González-Ferrer, Marta Séiz, Teresa Castro-Martín, and Teresa Martín-Garcia

Abstract: This report consists of six case studies on partnership trajectories among immigrants and their descendants by comparing their patterns to those of the ‘native’ population. The countries that are included in the analysis are Estonia, France, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Sweden and Spain. The analysis shows significant differences in partnership formation and dissolution between immigrants, their descendants and the ‘native’ population in all six countries.

Posted August 12 2014 – Read more Part 1

Read more Part 2







Working paper 12(2014)

Coping strategies under uncertain, precarious
employment conditions in Switzerland

By Doris Hanappi, Valérie-Anne Ryser, and Laura Bernardi

Abstract: This report provides insights on childbearing decisions seen as outcomes of coping strategies in work and family reconciliation under economic uncertainty and precariousness within the single-country setting, Switzerland.

Posted June 11 2014 – Read more







Working paper 11(2014)

State-of-the art report:
The new roles of men and women and
implications for families and societies

By Livia Sz. Oláh, Rudolf Richter and Irena E. Kotowska

Abstract: This report presents the main findings relevant to the research in Work Package 3: “The new roles of men and women and implications for families and societies”. It depicts the development of family forms in Europe, describes the relationship between women’s and men’s new roles and family dynamics and implications on the transition to parenthood. The report also addresses the impact of these changes on intra-family organization and on coping strategies under conditions of uncertainty and precariousness.

Posted June 11 2014 – Read more







Working paper 10(2014)

Home bitter home? Gender, living arrangements, and
the exclusion from home-ownership among older Europeans

By Daniele Vignoli, Maria Letizia Tanturri, and Francesco Acciai

Abstract: Home-ownership is the most important asset among the elderly in Europe, but in this domain very little is known about gender differences. This paper aims at exploring the link between gender, living arrangements, monetary poverty and home tenure among older Europeans, in order to identify the profiles of the elderly at a higher risk of being excluded from home-ownership.

Posted May 16 2014 – Read more







Working paper 9(2014)

Self investments of adolescents and their cognitive development

By Daniela del Boca, Chiara Monfardini, and Cheti Nicoletti

Abstract: While a large literature has focused on the impact of parental investments on child cognitive development, very little is known about the role of child’s own investments. By using the Child Development Supplement of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, we model the production of cognitive ability of adolescents and extend the set of inputs to include the child’s own time investments.

Posted May 16 2014 – Read more







Working paper 8(2014)

Identification of same-sex couples and families in
censuses, registers and surveys

By Clara Cortina and Patrick Festy

Abstract: Enumerating same-sex couples and families is much more difficult than it may seem. A basic reason is the small size of the group, in absolute and in relative terms compared to opposite-sex couples. The purpose of this document is to evaluate the possibilities of identification of same-sex couples and families with such data sources

Posted March 24 2014 – Read more







Working paper 7(2014)

Family policies and diversity in Europe:
The state-of-the-art regarding fertility, work, care,
leave, laws and self-sufficiency

Edited by Olivier Thévenon and Gerda Neyer

Abstract: This document provides an overview over existing knowledge of key policy issues related to families and societies in Europe.

Posted March 24 2014 – Read more







Working paper 6(2014)

State-of-the-art report
Changes in the life course

By Ariane Pailhé, Dimitri Mortelmans, Teresa Castro, Clara Cortina Trilla, Marie Digoix, Patrick Festy, Sandra Krapf, Michaela Kreyenfeld, Vicky Lyssens-Danneboom, Teresa Martín-García, Wilfried Rault, Olivier Thévenon, Laurent Toulemon

Abstract: The dynamics of family formation and disruption have changed in contemporary societies. This report contains a comprehensive literature overview of state-of-the-art knowledge about the dynamics of the development of family constellations and non-standard families.

Posted March 24 2014 – Read more







Working paper 5(2013)

State-of-the-art report
A family-related foresight approach

By Paola di Giulio, Thomas Fent, Dimiter Philipov, Jana Vobecká and Maria Winkler-Dworak

Abstract: This report discusses the substantive and methodological background for the construction and application of a family-related foresight method.

Posted November 20 2013 – Read more







Working paper 4(2013)

State-of-the-art report
Effects of family forms and dynamics on children’s
well-being and life chances: literature review

By Fabrizio Bernardi, Juho Härkönen, and Diederik Boertien, with Linus Andersson Rydell, Kim Bastaits, and Dimitri Mortelmans

Abstract: In this report, we review literature on the effects of family forms and dynamics on children’s well-being.

Posted October 31 2013 – Read more







Working paper 3(2013)

State-of-the-art report
Family dynamics among immigrants and their
descendants in Europe: Current research and opportunities

By Hill Kulu and Amparo González-Ferrer

Abstract: This paper reviews and evaluates recent research on family dynamics among immigrants and their descendants in Europe. While there is a large body of literature on various aspects of immigrant lives in Europe, research on family dynamics has emerged only in the last decade.

Posted October 31 2013 – Read more







Working paper 2(2013)

State-of-the-art report
Child care arrangements: determinants and consequences

By Ylenia Brilli, Daniela Del Boca and Chiara Monfardini

Abstract: This report summarizes the most recent empirical research on the effects of non-parental and household time investments on child development. The results from the studies considering non-parental child care policies are presented taking into account the timing of the intervention.

Posted October 4 2013 – Read more







Working paper 1(2013)

State-of-the-art report
Intergenerational linkages in families

By Pearl A. Dykstra, Thijs van den Broek, Cornelia Muresan, Mihaela Haragus,
Paul-Teodor Haragus, Anita Abramowska-Kmon, Irena E. Kotowska

Abstract: We present a state-of-the-art of the literature on linkages between generations within families. We focus specifically on intergenerational coresidence, upward and downward intergenerational transfers in families and the relationship between norms of family obligation and intergenerational transfers.

Posted October 4 2013 – Read more