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Richard Berthoud and Jonathan Gershuny (eds.): Seven Years in the Lives of British Families: Evidence on the dynamics of social change from the British Household Panel Survey

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... Furthermore, because the decline of the pooling system is often ascribed to the decline of the male breadwinner model, changes in partners' incomes and employment status are also taken into account. Accordingly, the present study ties in with previous research on marriage and money management systems (e.g., Singh and Lindsay, 1996;Burgoyne et al., 2006;Burgoyne et al., 2007) as well as with studies on the allocation of paid work and income (e.g., Laurie and Gershuny, 2000;Lott, 2009). ...
... Another explanation of the decline of joint pooling is seen in the increase in female employment and the decline of the male breadwinner model (Laurie and Gershuny, 2000;Vogler et al., 2008). According to Bennett et al. (2012) and Stocks et al. (2007), women aim to preserve their financial independence in couples and, therefore, favour separate finances. ...
Article
Conservative welfare state policies as in Germany often presume that money is a common resource within couples and, therefore, pooled. Research, however, indicates that money is increasingly managed separately or partly separately. This trend is either explained by the diversification of forms of relationships or interpreted as a general decline of the joint pooling of money. Contributing to this debate, this study investigates whether couples abandon independent money management when particular life events occur or when partners’ resources change. Data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) for the years 2004, 2005 and 2008 are used. Panel analyses show that marriage leads to joint pooling or partly independent money management. An increase in women's incomes, however, is associated with independent money management. Women's wish for independence apparently contributes to the decline of the joint pool. The substantial prevalence of financial independence within couples calls into doubt the adequacy of German welfare state policies.
... Changes in partnership and fertility behaviour have contributed to a rather small increase in the median age of motherhood. Comparing cohorts of women born between 1950 and 1952 with women born from 1962-1976, Ermisch and Francesconi (2000b) found that the median age of motherhood increased over a year from 26.4 to 27.5. ...
Article
For nearly three decades, the total fertility rate in England and Wales has remained high relative to other European countries, and stable at about 1.7 births per woman. In this chapter, we examine trends in both period and cohort fertility throughout the twentieth century, and demonstrate some important differences across demographic and social groups in the timing and quantum of fertility. Breaking with a market-oriented and laissez-faire approach to work and family issues, the last 10 years have seen the introduction of new social and economic policies aimed at providing greater support to families with children. However, the effect of the changes is likely to be limited to families on the lower end of the income scale. Rather than facilitating work and parenthood, some policies create incentives for a traditional gendered division of labour. Fertility appears to have remained stable despite, rather than because of, government actions.
... In a society where marriage tended to last for life, childbirth outside marriage was rare, and full employment for husbands was assumed, the implications of this genderunequal distribution of pension income would mainly be an issue within the marriage between spouses. But in modern UK society over a third of children are now born outside marriage (Ermisch and Francesconi, 2000), and the risk of divorce or separation is relatively high. Yet the assumptions underlying Beveridge's system have not changed within pension policy. ...
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This chapter views the potential financial position of divorced women in retirement in England and Wales from two convergent perspectives. The first is a review of the location of the United Kingdom within the welfare state theory as a paradigm male breadwinner nation state. The second is focused on a certain policy solution to the ‘problem’ of the retirement income of divorced women that has been chosen and recently implemented by the UK government. The chapter also introduces the concept of ‘pension sharing’, which is the allocation of pensions between divorced spouses.
... They suggested that reporting housework hours in survey interviews is a gendered process and the role of social desirability plays a key role in explaining the gap between the estimates. The domestic division of labour in the U.K. and many other countries are still highly gendered, with women undertaking the major share of it regardless of their employment status (e.g., Bianchi et al., 2000; Laurie & Gershuny, 2000). Some respondents might feel the pressure to report a level of housework participation that agrees with the normative gender roles, should their actual participation depart from what their gender role attitudes enjoin. ...
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This article compares stylised (questionnaire-based) estimates and diary-based estimates of housework time collected from the same respondents. Data come from the Home On-line Study (1999–2001), a British national household survey that contains both types of estimates (sample size=632 men and 666 women). It shows that the gap between the two types of estimate is generally smaller in the case of women. But the gap between the estimates in the case of women is associated with the amount of housework performed as secondary activities and the level of irregularity in housework hours. Presence of dependent children, on the other hand, inflates the gap for both men and women. Men holding traditional gender-role attitudes tend to report more housework time in surveys than in diaries, but the tendency is reversed when they undertake long hours of housework. The overall results suggest that there are systematic errors in stylised housework time estimates.
... Increasing longevity means a choice between longer marriages, multiple marriages, or more years unmarried over an increasingly long lifetime. At all ages, more widespread acceptance and prevalence of cohabitation as an alternative to marriage, childbearing outside marriage, rising rates of divorce among new marriages, and patterns of remarriage and step-parenting have radically altered the definitions of " family " in many countries (Cherlin 1981Cherlin , 1992 Ermisch et al. 2000; Stevenson and Wolfers 2007). These changes mean that current and future elderly will have more diverse family networks than previous generations (Wachter 1997). ...
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The impact of the widespread aging of populations around the world has become of central interest to both researchers and policymakers who wish to understand the broad social implications of these demographic changes. One of the areas of greatest interest has been the potential impact of aging populations on the provision of informal care to older persons by friends and family. These concerns have focused on changes in fertility and mortality that affect the availability of family members to provide emotional, financial and instrumental support, as well as sweeping changes in women’s roles and family relationships that have transformed the responsibilities and obligations among family members (Finch 1989; Safilios-Rothschild 1989).
... They suggested that reporting housework hours in survey interviews is a gendered process and the role of social desirability plays a key role in explaining the gap between the estimates. The domestic division of labour in the U.K. and many other countries are still highly gendered, with women undertaking the major share of it regardless of their employment status (e.g., Bianchi et al., 2000;Laurie & Gershuny, 2000). Some respondents might feel the pressure to report a level of housework participation that agrees with the normative gender roles, should their actual participation depart from what their gender role attitudes enjoin. ...
... Therefore it is suitable for studies involving both cross-sectional comparisons and longitudinal analyses. Scholars who have used BHPS for the study of division of domestic labour include Laurie and Gershuny (2000), who demonstrate that adjustment of participation in domestic labour takes place over time; and Sullivan (2000), who compare time-use data collected in 1975, 1987 and 1997 (including Wave 7 of the BHPS and SCELI) and conclude that on the macro structural level there is a substantial increase in men's participation in domestic labour over time. ...
Article
Using data from Wave 7 of the BHPS survey, this paper tests determinants of the gender division of domestic labour by multiple regression analyses. While past studies point out that women generally are responsible for the major share of housework at home regardless of their employment status, employment can influence the gender imbalance in housework allocation in two main ways. First, for both men and women, housework hours are reduced by their own paid work hours. Men's housework hours are also increased by their partners' paid work hours. However, paid work hours initiate only little redistribution of housework between partners of a couple since the amount of change in housework time is very limited. Second, employment is an important source of financial income that may enhance one's bargaining power vis-à-vis partner. Labour income reduces women's housework hours substantially but has no significant effect on men's housework hours. Intriguingly, though both paid work hours and labour income have asymmetrical effects on men's and women's housework hours, the effects of non-employment (i.e. loss of financial income) on them are quite symmetrical. For both men and women, unemployment or retirement increases one's own housework hours and reduces partner's and the magnitudes of housework time changes involved in both cases are similar. It is proposed that, rather than being merely a bargaining resource, high level of income may also influence women's gender-role preferences. Moreover, high educational qualifications and young age, which are probably related to more egalitarian gender-role attitudes, also lead to a reduction in the female partner's share of housework. It is suggested that further research should be carried out to examine how gender-role preferences are adjusted according to employment conditions over time and make an impact on the division of domestic labour.
... As informal caregivers are needed to complement the long-term formal care workforce due to the limited human resources in the healthcare sector, it is crucial to assess the effect of informal caregiving on the care provider's health. Low fertility rates, postponed parenthood (Federal Statistical Office 2016a) and longer lasting dependency of children on their parents (Harrison 2003) combined with the increasing labor force participation of women (Federal Statistical Office 2013a) lead to higher opportunity costs for informal caregiving (Thome and Birkel 2005), especially for women who have traditionally been care providers. Nevertheless, it is becoming more common for men to provide care (Friedman et al. 2015;Hammer and Neal 2008), the most important care providers being family, friends or neighbors (Bettio and Verashchagnia 2010). ...
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In view of the lack of representative longitudinal studies comparing the effect of different caregiving situations on self-rated health, we aim to study the effect of parenting underage children and informal caregiving with or without children on self-rated health at baseline and one year later and whether this effect differs between the sexes. Sex-stratified linear mixed models were performed to assess the effect of different informal caregiving situations on self-rated health at baseline and one year later, using data from the Swiss Labor Force Survey. In Switzerland, the percentage of informal caregivers with and without children is low and has been decreasing since 1997. Informal male caregivers with and without children reported significantly worse health at baseline, whereas no significant difference was found for informal female caregivers. Mothers and fathers (defined as living with underage child(ren) in the same household) without informal caregiving responsibilities reported slightly better health compared to non-caregivers. The caregiving situation did not affect the general decline in self-rated health for women, whereas fathers reported significantly worse and informal male caregivers significantly better health one year later compared to the change in self-rated health among non-caregivers. Being parent, informal caregiving and the combination of both have a substantial impact on self-rated health at baseline and one year later. The effects however differ between men and women as well as between caregiving roles. More population-based studies investigating the effect of informal caregiving on health outcomes among both sexes are needed.
Article
There has long been an interest in the United Kingdom about whether and how changes in family life affect support for older people, but nevertheless the consequences of partnership dissolution for late-life support have been little researched. Using data from the British Household Panel Study (1991–2003), this study investigated the longitudinal association between partnership dissolution and two types of support for 1,966 people aged 70 or more years: (i) informal support from children in the form of contacts and help (e.g. household assistance including care), and (ii) formal support from community care services (i.e. health visitor or district nurse, home-help and meals-on-wheels). The paper also examines the level of reported support among: (i) all parents aged 70 or more years and (ii) 1,453 unpartnered parents in the same age group (i.e. those lacking the most important source of support in later life: a spouse). We found diversity in the experience of partnership dissolution in the past lives of people aged 70 or more years. Patterns of support varied by the respondent's age, whether partnered, the timing and type of partnership dissolution, and by gender, having a daughter and health status. Overall, however, partnership dissolution did not show the expected detrimental relationship with later-life support. Health needs and increasing age were strongly associated with increases in contact and informal and formal help, regardless of family history.
Article
Research on the intra-household economy has gained great impetus over the last 20 years. There has been particular interest in the ways in which financial resources are distributed among individual household members. This, in turn, has led to the delineation of different systems of financial management. Methodologically, work in this domain has been informed by large-scale surveys and interview studies. The present paper contends that, due to their analytic reliance on the individual perceiver, current methods cannot fully account for the contradictions that are raised by key findings in the field. It is argued that a discursive approach, with the critical language awareness associated with it, might not only be able to reconcile some of these paradoxical findings but also provide the basis for a more critical understanding of the social–psychological processes underlying household money management. The potential contribution of a discursive approach to studying the intra-household economy is illustrated by drawing on group interview data. This calls attention to (a) the inherent variability of people's accounts regarding their money management practices and (b) the identity processes involved in such ‘money talk’.
Article
The work of Pahl [Pahl, J., 1989. Money and Marriage. Macmillan, London; Pahl, J., 1995. His money, her money: recent research on financial organisation in marriage. Journal of Economic Psychology, 16, 361–376] has been highly influential and her typology of money management (in various forms) has been widely used. However, in the light of increasing diversity in intimate relationships and associated forms of money management, a number of researchers have been calling for a more nuanced approach. In this paper, we explore the financial perceptions and practices that lie behind the relatively under-researched but increasingly popular systems of independent management (IM) and partial pooling (PP). Using data drawn from two recent qualitative studies of money management in heterosexual couples (18 cohabiting and 42 getting married) we focus on a subset of those who were using either IM or PP.The findings indicate that classifying couples on the basis of objective financial arrangements does not provide an accurate indication of each partner's standard of living or access to money. Rather than operating more or less as separate financial entities (as implied by the category labels) the picture is much more complex. Couples using IM or PP seem to handle and perceive money in a wide variety of ways, with different implications for individual well-being, depending on whether they had distinct, blurred, or shared perceptions of ownership. The latter are linked to the way partners view their relationship, in terms of permanence, commitment, and ideology, and also provide clues to how stable a particular system of management may be over time. The implications and directions for future research are discussed.
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Cohabitation is a rapidly changing aspect of family life in the United States and Britain. This article describes the demography of cohabitation, considers the place of cohabitation in the kinship system, and speculates on the future of cohabitation. I argue that three processes—cohort replacement, socialization that occurs when children live with cohabiting parents, and social diffusion—will foster continued increases in rates of cohabitation. These processes are also likely to increase variation in the types of cohabiting relationships that couples form. Understanding the meaning of cohabitation in the kinship system requires distinguishing between individuals' attitudes about their own relationships and the composition of cohabiting unions at the population level.
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Popular commentators on marriage and the family often interpret the increase in heterosexual couples living together without marrying as reduced willingness to create and honour life-long partnerships. Survey and in-depth interviews with samples of 20–29 year olds living in an urban area of Scotland finds little support for the postulated link between growing cohabitation and a weakened sense of commitment to long-term arrangements. Most of the cohabiting couples strongly stressed their ‘commitment’. Socially acceptable vocabularies of motive undoubtedly influenced answers but interviews helped to explore deeper meanings. Many respondents’ views were consistent with previous research predictions of a weakening sense of any added value of marriage. At the same time, some respondents continued to stress the social significance of the distinction between marriage and cohabitation, consistent with research interpreting cohabitation as a ‘try and see’ strategy part-way to the perceived full commitment of marriage. The notion that ‘marriage is better for children’ continued to have support among respondents. While, on average, cohabiting couples had lower incomes and poorer employment situations than married couples, only very extreme adverse circumstances were presented as making marriage ‘too risky’. Pregnancy-provoked cohabitation was not always in this category. Cohabitation was maintained because marriage would ‘make no difference’ or because they ‘had not yet got round to’ marriage. Most respondents were more wary of attempting to schedule or plan in their personal life than in other domains and cohabitees’ attitudes to partnership, including their generally ‘committed’ approach, do not explain the known greater vulnerability of this group to dissolution.
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In the present chapter, we consider the effects of complex sample design used in practice in most sample surveys on the analysis of the survey data. The cases in which the design may or may not influence analysis are specified and the basic concepts involved are defined. Once a model for analysis has been set up, we consider the possible relationships between the model and the sample design. When the design may have an effect on the analysis and additional explanatory variable related to the design cannot be added to the analytical model, two basic methodologies may be used: classical analysis, which could be modified to take the design into account; or a new analytical tool, which could be developed for each design. Different approaches are illustrated with real-data applications to linear regression, linear models, and categorical data analysis. Key terms: complex sample design, analysis of survey data, linear regression, linear models, categorical data analysis, model-based analysis.
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Economic provisioning continues to be the essence of ‘good’ fathering, and the work schedules associated with fathers' employment remain a key factor which shapes their involvement in childcare and domestic work at home. However, the relative impact of fathers' and mothers' employment hours on paternal involvement in childcare is unclear, and little is known about the longer-term impact, that is, whether a work arrangement organised when the child is under a year old has an impact on paternal involvement when the child is aged three. Here we focus on employed couples and explore the association that mothers' and fathers' employment hours have with paternal involvement when their child is three years old. Multivariate analysis using the UK's Millennium Cohort Study reveals that it is the mothers' employment hours when the child is aged three that has the largest association with paternal involvement in childcare at this stage in the child's life, independent of what hours the father works. Furthermore, both fathers' and mothers' employment hours when the child was nine months old have a longitudinal influence on paternal involvement when the child reaches three years old, but it is the hours worked by the mother when the child was aged nine months that has the stronger association with paternal involvement at age three. This suggests that mothers' work schedules are more important than fathers' for fostering greater paternal involvement in both the immediate and longer term.
Conference Paper
Although fathers’ roles have been adapting over the last three decades financial provisioning remains the essence of ‘good’ fathering and the work schedules associated with fathers’ employment is a key factor that shapes their involvement in childcare and domestic work. However, the relative impact of fathers’ and mothers’ employment on paternal involvement in childcare is unclear, and little is known about the longer term impact, that is, whether the way parents’ organise their work and childcare arrangements in the first year of the child’s life impacts on paternal involvement as the child grows up. This paper, based on work by Norman, Elliot and Fagan (Community Work and Family, forthcoming), investigates some of the tensions between employment and a father’s involved caregiver role. We open with a review of the qualitative and quantitative results from previous studies concerning father’s contributions to childraising, including the facilitating influence which statutory parental leave policies and other reconciliation measures have played in some countries. Then we focus on employed couples to explore the association that mothers’ and fathers’ employment hours have with paternal involvement when their child is aged three. Multivariate analysis using the UK’s Millennium Cohort Study reveals it is the mothers’ employment hours when the child is aged three that has the largest association with paternal involvement in childcare at this stage in the child’s life, independent of what hours the father works. Furthermore, both parent's employment hours when the child was nine months old have a longitudinal influence on paternal involvement when the child reaches three, but it is the hours a mother works when the child was aged nine months that has the stronger association with paternal involvement at age three. This suggests mothers’ work schedules are more important for fostering paternal involvement in both the immediate and longer term.
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Lexical track of the family concept. The use of network analysis, frequency analysis and open coding for implicit theories of family research. The publication focuses attention on the topic of implicit understanding of the term "family". Theoretical background is based on an etymological analysis of the concept of family, the George Lakoff´s theory of prototypes and current knowledge from the field of folk psychology. There were extracted 12 expected attributes of the concept of family. The main part of the publication presents the results of research. The research group consists of three strata: professional teachers, students of education and pupils of primary school. Data were subjected to three types of analyzes: frequency analysis, network analysis and open coding. There were detected 8 attributes of implicit theories of the family (humanity, nuclearity, genocentricity, paidocentrism, egocentricity, interdependence, territoriality and presentivity). As the crucial contribution of work in the field of methodology we consider the demonstration of the suitability of using of the networks analysis for lexical material.
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This chapter focuses on intimate relationships and families. In doing so, it explores the private household from the economic psychologist's perspective, concentrating on two specific domains of research, namely, financial decision-making and money management. The household is an important analytic unit for economists because the decisions made in private households often have financial repercussions on a public (i.e., aggregate) level. As such, the household has attracted much attention in economics where it is assumed to be a fairly straightforward, single decision-making entity. One study provides empirical evidence in support of the claim that a couple's prior decision history is crucial for understanding specific spending decisions. It demonstrated that 'utility debts' play a role in the household economic decision-making process, suggesting that partners who have dominated a previous decision are usually required to yield in a subsequent purchase decision. In other words, the potential 'utility gains' made by dominating a spending decision.
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Using data from the British Household Panel Study (BHPS) from 1995 to 2005 we examine the nature of the allocation of savings, investments and debts between heterosexual couple members, how these vary by individual and household characteristics, and how these patterns vary over a ten-year time horizon. We find savings are more commonly held in joint names than investments or debts and there is evidence of an increasing independence in financial arrangements between couple members throughout the period 1995 to 2005. Controlling for age and other factors, cohabitation reduces the likelihood of shared financial arrangements. Both partners' labour market income affects the likelihood of having any savings or investments for both men and women but as men's labour income increases, the likelihood of men having jointly held savings and investments with their female partner reduces. Psychological well-being is improved where individuals have any savings or investments either solely or jointly held with their partner.
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