Popping in with a mini-dispatch this week because several relevant reads crossed my desk. If there’s interest, I may make this link round-up a regular feature. If you come across a book or article you think I’d be into, follow Jon, Sharon, and Anna’s example and send it my way, either by leaving a comment or replying to this email!
“The city of Boston had a program that offered…to help [women] negotiate better with their supervisors and their managers in terms of their jobs. But in fact, the most important negotiating adult [women] can do…is with our spouse.” Harvard economist Claudia Goldin draws our attention to the progress women have made in the last half-century and suggests ways to continue that forward motion. But, she thinks it will be easier to change dynamics in the labor market than in the home (I agree). (h/t Jon)
Build in a “nuisance allowance” if you can’t rebalance the mental load. Advice columnist Carolyn Hax suggests giving an underperforming husband more than 50% of the physical chores, rather than trying to make both physical and cognitive tasks equal. (h/t Sharon)
“It takes a woman and a man to make a baby. This fact suggests that for a birth to take place, the parents should first agree on wanting a child.” Believe it or not, this is the start of an economics paper rather than a sex-ed workshop. The authors find that in low-fertility countries (a category that includes many high-income Western nations), women are considerably more likely than men to be against having a second child. They hypothesize that this is because women anticipate drawing the short end of the stick when it comes to caring for this hypothetical second child. Indeed, in countries where men do a greater share of childcare, there’s less disagreement between men and women on whether to expand their families. One implication: policymakers and politicians losing their minds over declining fertility rates should prioritize policies that reduce women’s childcare burden (e.g., providing high-quality public childcare). (h/t Anna, who pointed out that Aria is far from alone in her wariness to bring a second child into the mix)