Wendy Sigle is Professor of Gender and Family Studies at the Department of Gender Studies, the London School of Economics and Political Science and an Affiliated Researcher at the Centre for Fertility and Health. She has worked on a variety of issues related to families and family policy in historical and contemporary societies.
Most of my research is quantitative and applies both econometric and demographic methods to the analysis of secondary survey data or data drawn from official government records. However, I have written a number of papers critiquing how quantitative methods are applied and how quantitative evidence is used and interpreted, particular in a policy context. A recent contribution asks whether demographers have become too reliant on simplistic economic models and methods and argues for a more conscious consideration of a wider range of critical theoretical perspectives. More recently, I have developed an interest in qualitative methods; in particular how they can be used to improve the design of quantitative studies. I recently co-authored a qualitative study which examines how Polish-born parents living in London and Krakow explain whether or not they intend to have a second child. The findings suggest that, within the EU at least, individuals evaluate the costs of having children and the generosity of family policy packages, by looking across borders, not (as fixed effects statistical models assume) by comparing changes in circumstances over time in their current location.
Expertise: critical demography and policy studies; family policies in the Global North, international migration, the timing of fertility, intersectionality; quantitative methods; childcare; poverty; family; gender