Population award for ANU alumnus

6 May 2015

ANU demographer Professor Peter McDonald (PhD '73) has won an international prize in recognition of his contribution to population research.

Professor McDonald has won the Irene B.Taeuber Award, which is presented every two years by the Population Association of America. He is the fourth non-American to win the award since its inception in 1977.

Professor McDonald is known for his contribution to the development of a series of highly-cited articles on the gender equity theory of fertility.

"Women have achieved high levels of gender-equity in individually-oriented institutions such as education and employment, but equity in family-related institutions such as the family itself and the conditions of work lags behind," he said.

"Where the level of incoherence between equity in individual and family institutions is high, some women opt to have no children or only one child, placing the societal level of fertility at a precariously low level.

"The policy implication is that societies must hasten the speed of change in gender equity in family-oriented institutions, especially through policy measures that support the capacity to combine work with parenting," he said.

Professor McDonald played an active role in establishing benchmark measures for fertility and mortality in Indonesia, to assist with the Southeast Asian nation's family planning program.

He has a keen interest in Indonesian demography and continues to be heavily involved in population research for the region.

In Australia, Professor McDonald's work is in economic-demographic modelling that underpins current immigration policy.

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