ABSTRACT. Where changes in fertility timing and sequencing do not suffice in explaining low fertility, scholars typically turn to socioeconomic determinants of fertility intentions like income, employment status, or work hours. Yet, few studies have focused on the importance of job quality and its relation to gender role attitudes. We examine in what way perceived job quality in terms of job stability and prestige are associated with the intention to have a child for men and women in the low fertility context Switzerland, whether job quality matters equally for first and subsequent child intentions, and whether a gender-unequal attitude changes the effects of job quality on the childbearing intentions of men and women. Using data from the Swiss Household Panel (waves 2002–2011), we estimate separate logit models of the fertility intentions of men and women without children and those with at least one child. We find that perceived job instability negatively affects the intention of having a first child for women but not for men. Our analyses suggest that the relation between perceived job quality and fertility intention is partially mediated by gender attitudes in so far as they modify the salience of job quality for men and women. pp. 192–219

Keywords: maternal employment; job quality; fertility intention

How to cite: Hanappi, Doris, Valérie-Anne Ryser, and Laura Bernardi (2016), “The Role of Attitudes towards Maternal Employment in the Relationship between Job Quality and Fertility Intentions,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 6(1): 192–219.

Received 13 January 2016 • Received in revised form 16 February 2016
Accepted 17 February 2016 • Available online 28 February 2016


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Department of Demography,
University of California Berkeley;
National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES,
University of Lausanne
Swiss Centre of Expertise in Social Sciences (FORS),
University of Lausanne
National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES,
Institute of Social Sciences,
University of Lausanne

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