Division of Paid and Unpaid Work within Couples and His and Her View on Fairness: Implications for Childbearing and Partnership Dissolution
Katja Köppen, University of Rostock
Heike Trappe, University of Rostock
The strength of our approach is based on the availability of prospective panel data provided by both partners within couples: By following our respondents over eight successive panel years, while repeatedly measuring their perception of gender equality and equity in the year before any of the demographic events occurred, enables us to capture changes over the life course more fully than previously done. It allows conducting a comprehensive analysis on the explanatory power of the female, the male or a couple’s perspective on gender equality and equity for family-related transitions. Thus, we are able to show whether women’s or men’s assessments are relatively more influential for the transitions under study. Furthermore, we explore the role of consistent or inconsistent evaluations of gender equality and equity within couples for childbearing and partnership dissolutions.
So far our findings point to the importance of the perceived equity of the division of labor for family-related decisions. In addition, they underscore that fertility decisions are largely negotiated within a couple while this does not necessarily apply to separations which might be initiated and pursued by one partner alone.