The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) will launch a new Max Planck Research Group in June, focusing on explanations why family life events such as union formation, separation, parenthood and family extension play out differently for women and men. The group is led by Nicole Hiekel.
The major demographic trends in family structures and change across high-income countries are well known: fertility rates have declined, childbearing occurs later, not necessarily in marital unions or with one lifelong partner only. Relationships forms have become more diverse and less stable.
But similar family life courses lead to different outcomes for men and women. That is why gender inequalities are an important factor in demographic research as they may either determine, moderate or result from fertility and family change.
“Demography will make a leap forward when we better understand the mechanisms explaining why life events such as union formation, separation, parenthood and family extension play out differently for women and men”, says Nicole Hiekel, the Leader of the independent Max Planck Research Group “Gender Inequalities and Fertility”.
Nicole Hiekel was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Social Psychology at the University of Cologne before joining the German Youth Institute in Munich. She is affiliated to the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute in The Hague. At the intersection of sociology and demography, her research has contributed to demographic theory building on how social inequalities interact with demographic processes and applied innovative methods to study the intergenerational transmission of relationship behavior.