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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Chan, C. H. Y. Chan, T. H. Y. Peterson, B. D. Lampic, C. and Tam, M. Y. J. 2015. Intentions and attitudes towards parenthood and fertility awareness among Chinese university students in Hong Kong: a comparison with Western samples. Human Reproduction, Vol. 30, Issue. 2, p. 364.

    Ollo-López, Andrea and Goñi-Legaz, Salomé 2015. Differences in work–family conflict: which individual and national factors explain them?. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, p. 1.

    Haynes, Philip Banks, Laura and Hill, Michael 2014. The relationship between employment and social networks in the older population. International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 41, Issue. 4, p. 321.

    Dey, Ian and Wasoff, Fran 2010. Another Child? Fertility Ideals, Resources and Opportunities. Population Research and Policy Review, Vol. 29, Issue. 6, p. 921.

    Mishtal, Joanna Z. 2009. Understanding low fertility in Poland. Demographic Research, Vol. 21, p. 599.

    Pichler, Florian 2009. Determinants of Work-life Balance: Shortcomings in the Contemporary Measurement of WLB in Large-scale Surveys. Social Indicators Research, Vol. 92, Issue. 3, p. 449.

    Taylor-Gooby, Peter 2008. Assumptive Worlds and Images of Agency: Academic Social Policy in the Twenty-first Century?. Social Policy and Society, Vol. 7, Issue. 03,


Wearing Out the Work Ethic: Population Ageing, Fertility and Work–Life Balance

  • IAN DEY (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 October 2006

In response to population ageing, the UK intends to increase female labour supply. To this end, the Chancellor has announced a ten-year strategy designed to allow parents to combine work with family responsibilities more easily. The policies proposed centre on extending parental leave and childcare provision, while promoting greater flexibility in employment. While these policies may improve labour supply in the short term, this article looks at their implications for fertility, which if negative may reduce the labour supply in the longer term. Recent demographic studies suggest that measures which allow women more readily to combine childbearing with paid employment may also stabilise or improve fertility rates, so mitigating the trend to population ageing. However, the evidence is not conclusive, for relationships between female employment and fertility are complex and context dependent. The article suggests several factors that might therefore merit further consideration. These include gender inequities in the domestic division of labour, long working hours and a re-evaluation of unpaid work in the home. Enthusiasm for the work ethic may have to be balanced by a more explicit acknowledgement of a care ethic.

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Journal of Social Policy
  • ISSN: 0047-2794
  • EISSN: 1469-7823
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-social-policy
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