Female Employment and Countries’ Fertility Rates – Science’s Comment on Public Debates

Unlike most parameters in demographic research, the Total Fertility Rate has become public knowledge in OECD countries. Particularly following the occurrence and stagnation of low fertility – and the associated aggravation of the social security problems – countries’ fertility rates have established themselves in political debates, legislative initiatives, media reports, and even in cracker barrel politics.

Continue reading

The Role of School District Boundary Lines in Perpetuating School Segregation

Much of the current American educational policy focuses on individual-level reforms that are intended to encourage teachers to work harder so that students will learn more and achieve higher levels on standardized tests. However, this approach fails to recognize the importance of structural features in supporting or limiting students’ academic success. The organization of school districts and the extent to which they segregate students has major implications for the educational opportunities of students and their corresponding outcomes.

Continue reading

The Role of Inheritance and Labor Income in Marital Choices

From Honoré de Balzac to Jane Austen, many nineteenth century novels give examples of marriage of convenience in which the spousal wealth is determinant. Today, people probably marry more frequently for love, and family has less power than during the nineteenth century. But has the importance of inheritance in marital choices disappeared? This research is grounded upon recent findings on long-term trends in inheritance and wealth. Whether this situation is important for the dynamics of inequality over time depends, among other things, on marital decisions – do heirs marry heiresses? – as family plays a decisive role in the transmission of capital, be it human, social or material.

Continue reading