Centre for Economic Demography

Lund University School of Economics and Management

Family, Fertility and Gender

Research in Family Economics and Economics of Gender has a long tradition in Lund. Important issues related to the role of women in the economy and to gender and family were identified and put on the research agenda from the 1980s onwards. Nowadays, the incorporation of a gender perspective includes men as well as women, and concerns about masculinities as well as femininities.

Understanding how families and households function as economic units is fundamental to the study of demographic processes, including family formation, fertility, and union dissolution. But it is also fundamental to an understanding of how welfare state policies (e.g. family policy) influence individual and family behaviour and how gendered economic outcomes are generated. Through the use of economic theoretical models, together with an awareness of their more sociological alternatives, research at the CED has mainly undertaken quantitative investigations of family demography (in a wide sense), in the past and present. Attention has also been given to other kinds of family behaviour and processes, such as cooperation and conflict when it comes to acquiring and distributing resources, and time use. Research interest has also been devoted to the effects of family formation on the careers of men and women.

Early studies utilized more aggregate data but over time quantitative studies based on micro data (cross-sectional and/or longitudinal) and utilizing econometric techniques has become the norm. The research at CED is and has been characterized by a long-term time perspective, which is manifested in the consistent incorporation of a time perspective in studies undertaken and in the use of data that make, if not longitudinal studies, at least comparisons over time possible. Examples include cohort studies, and panel studies. During the period of the Linnaeus CED grant, the analyses have not only focused on the Swedish context, but have also been extended to cover some developing countries.