Research Decision sciences

Why with Broadband We will have More Children

, by Claudio Todesco
The ERC project of Francesco Billari studies demographic changes in situations of strong discontinuity

High risk/high gain is one of the European Research Council's mottos. It means that projects that take a few risks in order to offer unusual theoretical and empirical viewpoints are most likely to be rewarded. It is in this spirit that Francesco Billari (Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management) proposes to study the multiple effects of digitization on family behaviors.

"We are investigating the effects of broadband deployment on the chance of having a child. The first results point out that fast connection, having a beneficial effect on work-life balance, improves the chances to have a child. At the same time, it widens the digital divide, especially for women. We also plan to check the effects of online information on unwanted pregnancies and on long-term couple formation".

The study on digitization is part of the larger project Discontinuities in Household and Family Formation (DisCont), funded with an ERC Advanced Grant and hosted by Dondena Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy. A discontinuity is an event such as the Great Recession that radically transforms people's lives. The project will make methodological contributions too.

"We will prove if the effects can be persistent either for the population as a whole or for specific cohorts. We will make use of big data taken from the social media and the web".

Read here the other articles on the ERC research projects:
The Dream Team of Research made in..ERC
University at the Time of Star Wars
The Culture That Influences Demography
For a History of Inequality in Europe
Fostering Solidarity in Times of Migrations
A Theory of Games and Emotions
How to Communicate Climate Science
At the Birth of Maritime Insurance
Even Distorted Choices can be Rational
The Psychology of Economic Behavior
Great Expectations for Great Objectives
What we are Certain about Uncertainty
Putting a Halt to the Spread of Infections
Wellbeing and Fertility, a Two-Way Relationship
The Role of Financial Imperfections
The World Through the Lens of Power
The Selection of the Political Class
How to Evaluate Innovative Ideas
A Help for Those who make Predictions
When a Government is Guided by Values