When are women who work from home more likely to have children?

Osiewalska, Beata, Matysiak, Anna, Kurowska, Anna, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences, WP(13/2022)389. 

We examine the timely yet severely under-researched interplay between the opportunity to work from home and childbearing. According to previous research, home-based work (HBW) may both facilitate and jeopardise work-family balance, depending on family and work circumstances. Following this research, we develop a theoretical framework on whether and under which conditions HBW may facilitate fertility. We perform random-effect logistic regression on UK Household Longitudinal Survey 2009-2019 data and consider a set of potential moderators related to woman’s family and work context. Our findings suggest that HBW can indeed help certain women have children, but only those who live far from their offices or want to combine paid work and care but receive little support from their partners. This is not the case for other women, likely because HBW entails higher expectations toward workers to perform more housework, leads to more multitasking and may have negative consequences for women’s work careers.

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