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Working from Home During Covid-19 Pandemic and Changes to Fertility Intentions Among Parents – our latest paper in European Journal of Population

The Covid-19 pandemic and related massive spread of home based work led to substantial changes in the conditions for combining work and childbearing. On the one hand, working from home helped parents to accommodate increased childcare needs during the pandemic. On the other hand, it led to acute experiences of blurred boundaries between work and family life during childcare and school closures. Therefore, the direction of the impact of working from home on fertility intentions during the pandemic is not unequivocal. In this paper, we investigate how working from home was related to change in fertility intentions of mothers and fathers during the pandemic and discuss the complex mechanisms behind these relationships. With the use of unique Familydemic Survey data from a representative sample of parents in Poland, we estimate multinomial logit regressions by gender and consider a set of potential moderators, including financial well-being, gender relations, and occupational characteristics. We find evidence for an overall negative relationship between home based work and fertility intentions for mothers, but we also uncover some positive moderating effects. In particular, we shed light on the unobvious moderating role of gendered division of unpaid labor from before the pandemic.

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