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Family size matters: How low fertility affects the (re)production of social inequalities

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "FAMSIZEMATTERS" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: OXFORD
postcode: OX1 2JD

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Total cost 1˙902˙598 €
 EC max contribution 1˙902˙598 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-07-01   to  2021-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

This is the first comprehensive study on the consequences of low fertility for the (re)production of social inequalities. Inequalities in socio-economic well-being, including gender inequalities and regional inequalities, are reproduced from generation to generation. The family plays a central role in the reproduction of social inequalities. Over the last 5 decades, most societies in Europe and East-Asia moved or started moving towards low fertility regimes where the majority of women bear 0, 1 or 2 children. What does this radical change in family size imply for the (re)production of social inequalities?

While demographers focus on determinants rather than consequences of low fertility, social inequality scholars largely ignore fertility trends. I connect these major fields to understand the consequences of low fertility and re-think mechanisms for the reproduction of inequalities. From this perspective I generate new empirical and theoretical questions and I highlight growing but under-researched groups (i.e. childless adults and only-children).

I formulate three sets of related innovative questions on the consequences of low fertility for inequalities in (1) children, (2) adults and (3) societies. With regard to children, I investigate multigenerational processes, the changing role of sibling size and the role of only-children in reproducing inequalities. For parents with adult children, I study when and where the ‘quality’ of children becomes increasingly important and I examine the role of childless adults in the reproduction of inequalities.

I take a quantitative comparative approach over time and across societies in Europe and East-Asia using multi-actor multilevel data from the newest data initiatives and reviving underused existing data. The insights from the comparative studies are brought together at the macro level in a simulation study. Gender inequalities are addressed throughout the project: has lower fertility reduced gender inequalities?


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Paula Sheppard, Christiaan Monden
Re-examining the benefits of becoming a grandparent: No evidence of positive associations in the United States and England.
published pages: 28, ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SocArXiv 2019-10-01
2018 Lewis Anderson, Paula Sheppard, Christiaan Monden
Grandparent Effects on Educational Outcomes: A Systematic Review
published pages: 114-142, ISSN: 2330-6696, DOI: 10.15195/v5.a6
Sociological Science 5 2019-06-18
2018 Patrick Präg, Seongsoo Choi, Christiaan Monden
Sibship Size in Low-Fertility Countries over the Twentieth Century: Declining Social Disparities
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SocArXiv 2019-03-11
2019 Patrick Präg, Lindsay Richards
Intergenerational social mobility and allostatic load in Great Britain
published pages: 100-105, ISSN: 0143-005X, DOI: 10.1136/jech-2017-210171
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 73/2 2019-03-11
2018 Paula Sheppard, Christiaan Monden
Becoming a first-time grandparent and subjective well-being. A fixed effects approach.
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SoxArXiv 2019-03-11
2018 Seongsoo Choi, Riley Taiji, Manting Chen, Christiaan Monden
Sibship Size and Educational Attainment: Evidence of Cohort Trends from 26 Low-Fertility Countries
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SocArXiv 2019-03-11
2018 Zachary Van Winkle, Emanuela Struffolino
When working isn’t enough: Family demographic processes and in-work poverty across the life course in the United States
published pages: 365-380, ISSN: 1435-9871, DOI: 10.4054/demres.2018.39.12
Demographic Research 39 2019-03-11
2018 Ellen Verbakel, Christiaan Monden
Higher well-being with similar partner? Testing the similarity hypothesis for socio-demographic characteristics
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SoxArXiv 2019-03-11
2018 Cecilia Potente, Patrick Präg, Christiaan Monden
Does Children’s Education Affect Parental Health and Mortality? A Regression Discontinuity Approach with Linked Census Data from England and Wales
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SocArXiv 2019-03-13
2017 Seongsoo Choi, Christiaan Monden
Where It Matters to Be the Only One: School Performance Outcomes of Only-children across 31 Countries
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SoxArXiv 2019-03-11
2018 Luca Pesando, Andrés F. Castro, Liliana Andriano, Julia A. Behrman, Francesco C. Billari, Christiaan Monden, Frank F. Furstenberg, Hans‐Peter Kohler
Global Family Change: Persistent Diversity with Development
published pages: , ISSN: 1728-4457, DOI:
Population Development Review 2019-03-11
2018 Seongsoo Choi
Fewer mothers with more colleges? The impacts of expansion in higher education on first marriage and first childbirth
published pages: 593-634, ISSN: 1435-9871, DOI: 10.4054/demres.2018.39.20
Demographic Research 39 2019-03-11
2018 Paula Sheppard, Christiaan Monden
The Additive Advantage of Having Educated Grandfathers for Children’s Education: Evidence from a Cross-National Sample in Europe
published pages: 365-380, ISSN: 0266-7215, DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcy026
European Sociological Review 34/4 2019-03-11
2017 Patrick Präg, Melinda Mills, Maria Letizia Tanturri, Christiaan Monden, Gilles Pison
The Demographic Consequences of Assisted Reproductive Technologies
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.31235/
SocArXiv 2019-03-11
2018 Barbara Beham, Sonja Drobnič, Patrick Präg, Andreas Baierl, Janin Eckner
Part-time work and gender inequality in Europe: a comparative analysis of satisfaction with work–life balance
published pages: 1-25, ISSN: 1461-6696, DOI: 10.1080/14616696.2018.1473627
European Societies 2019-03-12

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