Laura Bernardi

Reproductive decision-making in a macro-micro perspective

Domaine: Cooperation SSH

Acronyme: REPRO

Durée: 01.02.2008 – 31.01.2011

Budget total: 1.300.000 EUR

Budget UNIL: 91.178 EUR


Laura Bernardi, Institut des sciences sociales, Faculté des SSP



The main objective of the REPRO project is to upgrade the existing knowledge and to generate new scientific and policy-oriented knowledge on the factors that drive changes in the birth rates and influence the reproductive decision-making of contemporary Europeans. REPRO incorporates analyses in macro, micro, and macro-micro perspectives. At the macro level, we describe recent fertility trends observed across Europe and examine their association with selected macro-level social, economic and institutional indicators.
At the micro level we use the social-psychological theory of planned behaviour to analyse the process of reproductive decision-making.

The theory will be developed to fit specific demographic research on fertility intentions of individuals as well as of couples. We also use panel data to obtain insights into the realisation or non-realisation of fertility intentions. To this end, we make use of economic, sociological, and cultural theoretical approaches whose application has proved useful. The analyses at the micro-level are furthered by inferences based on available qualitative surveys. The macro-micro approach integrates the findings reached at the macro and at the micro level using comparable data sets on fertility intentions and behaviours available in most European countries and multi-level statistical techniques.

This integrated approach sheds light on the impact and interrelatedness of diverse factors such as work patterns and employment, family formation, housing, gender roles and factors related to ideational change, cultural specifics and institutional settings. Finally, the integrated method of research generates knowledge that can be streamed into relevant policy construction and implementation. A synthesis of all findings will be performed to serve as a sound basis for drawing valuable policy implications.