Policy Brief: “Broadband Internet, Fertility and Work from Home”
The Sociology of Development section of the American Sociological Association has published a policy brief written by members of the Population Europe network: Francesco C. Billari (Bocconi University), Osea Giuntella (University of Pittsburgh), and Luca Stella (Bocconi University and Institute of Labor Economics, IZA). This brief, "Broadband Internet, Fertility and Work from Home", uses data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) to look at the possible impacts of access to high speed Internet on fertility choices in a low fertility setting.
Based on their findings, increasing access to high-speed Internet may promote fertility among highly educated women in an advanced economy, by easing the burden of balancing work and family duties. This also means that broadband might introduce a "second-level digital divide" in fertility, allowing highly educated individuals to realize their fertility goals, while not improving those chances for less-educated individuals, who tend to be employed in less flexible occupations.