More Work, Fewer Babies

Egalitarian values and generous social welfare states had been credited with protecting the Nordic countries in particular from very low fertility rates. Yet since 2008, birth rates in those countries have nonetheless plummeted.

Join IHE Fellows Bradford Wilcox (professor of sociology at the University of Virginia), Laurie DeRose (professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America), and American Enterprise Institute Fellow Lyman Stone (sociology graduate student at McGill University) for a conversation about a key factor impacting fertility rates — attitudes towards work. Our speakers will tackle the elevation of work and career advancement to a very high place in individual’s values and provide evidence that the concept of workism helps explain reduced fertility worldwide.

This event is cosponsored with the Institute for Family Studies and Plough Quarterly. The latest issue of Plough, entitled “What Are Families For?,” features IHE Fellow Bradford Wilcox.

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W. Bradford Wilcox is a professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia, a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, and the director of the National Marriage Project. In his latest work, Soul Mates: Religion, Sex, Love, and Marriage Among African Americans and Latinos, Dr. Wilcox highlights the underappreciated role that faith plays in the lives of strong and happy minority couples. He is now studying the class divide in American family life.


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Laurie DeRose is an assistant professor of sociology at The Catholic University of America. She also serves as a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and as the Director of Research for their World Family Map project that investigates both the determinants of family strength and the outcomes stemming from family strength across the globe. She is currently studying the effects of family structure on education in the Global South, including the possibility that where single motherhood is prevalent, the gender gap in education may be smaller.



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Lyman Stone is an adjunct fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, and the chief information officer of the population-forecasting firm Demographic Intelligence. He and his wife serve as missionaries in the Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod. He also writes about migration issues on his blog “In a State of Migration.” He was formerly an agricultural economist at USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. He has an MA in international trade policy from the George Washington University and is completing his doctorate in sociology at McGill University.