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CeFH lunch seminar: Social values and fertility change in Norway


Presentation by Beata Osiewalska, Cracow University of Economics, Poland


About the CeFH lunch seminars

Our lunch seminars are informal research seminars that are held normally every Friday. Both researchers at the Centre and researchers from all over the world present interesting topics in fertility and health. The presentations include new research ideas, projects, results and methods as well as possible collaborative projects.

Although primarily aimed at researchers at the Centre, the seminars are also open to other researchers at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Please contact Fredrik Swift if you have questions about the seminar or if you would like to give a presentation

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28. Jun 2019 - 11:00-12:00 | Seminar
Marcus Thranses gate 2, meeting room 201, 2nd floor

About the speaker

Beata Osiewalska is an assistant professor at Cracow University of Economics (CUE), Poland. Having graduated in Mathematics from Jagiellonian University and Statistics from CUE, she followed a one-year training at European Doctoral School of Demography at Max Planck Institute of Demographic Research and Warsaw School of Economics in 2013/14. Her research interest is family and fertility changes in developed societies. In 2018 she was awarded a PhD at CUE. Her doctoral thesis focuses on socioeconomic drivers of couples’ childlessness and fertility in Europe. She is a recent laureate of the Polish Ministry of Science scholarship for outstanding young scientists.

About the presentation

Values could be among the major drivers of fertility in developed societies as they affect behaviours related to union and family formation in both tempo and quantum layers. Norway like other western countries has faced a recent change in value patterns: substantial growth in the share of religiously unaffiliated or displaying low religiosity, a shift towards greater individualism and self-fulfilment, and an ensuing decline in the significance of marriage and family. These changes can be central to fertility decline.

The aim of this study is to assess whether value change has led to a decline in fertility among later born cohorts in Norway. Since there is great inequality in male compared to female fertility patterns, special attention is given to gender differences. We focus on various dimensions of religiosity and attitudes held by an individual, including religious affiliation, self-rated religiosity, the importance of marriage and family, and the degree of gender egalitarianism. The data used in the study include Generations and Gender Survey and European Value Study. Descriptive and multivariate regression analysis on the number of children ever born (CEB) is performed over a period of time between 1982 and 2008.

The results indicate a role for religious affiliation, religiosity, and changing values for fertility, even after controlling for the socioeconomic and demographic factors. Interestingly, values connected to marriage and family proved to be much more important for the fertility of men, while those related to gender roles are more significant for women. Religion and religiosity could play a key role for CEB of both women and men, having a particular influence on the youngest cohorts.