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    Is Fertility Influenced by Couple Instability?
    As we saw in Chapter 1, research on family behavioral change has been dominated by two theoretical frameworks, namely Gary Becker’s neoclassical economic approach and the 2nd Demographic Transition thesis. For very different reasons, both envisage that gender convergence in terms of employment and life-long careers will promote greater couple instability, weaker commitments to partnerships, and a drop in fertility. The evidence has appeared to support these arguments quite well, but only up to a certain point. A number of countries have, over the past decades, experienced a radical u-turn in terms of marital stability and fertility. And most interestingly, these are the very same countries that boast the greatest degree of gender convergence in terms of earnings and employment. This turn-about suggests that we need to re-theorize longer run trends.
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