Skip to content


MiSoC’s families research investigates the creation of pre-school health and social and cognitive skills in a family setting, with reference to maternal labour force participation, maternal mental health, fertility choices and the role of fathers, the long run returns to various early life interventions, the role of conflict in the family, the problems of ageing and pension choice.

Research area leader: Sonia Bhalotra

Sonia bhalotra

This area of research examines how and why families are changing and at the implications for living standards and well-being. We are examining changes in fertility, marriage, cohabitation, and the rise in multi-generation households and how they are related to changes in the labour and housing markets. Our research is evaluating changing gender roles, to see how men and women’s role at home and in the labour market are affected by the environment they grew up, by their siblings and social networks. We are examining changes in fathers’ roles, at home and work, and the implications for children’s development.

Research team

  • Nicola Barban
    Professor of Demography, University of Bologna, Italy (Co-I)
  • Sonia Bhalotra
    Professor of Economics, University of Essex (Co-I)
  • Emilia Del Bono
    Director of MiSoC, University of Essex (PI)
  • Esther Dermott
    Professor of Policy Studies, University of Bristol
  • Emily Grundy
    Professor of Population Science, University of Essex (Co-I)
  • Susan Harkness
    Professor of Public Policy, University of Bristol (Co-I)
  • Renee Luthra
    Professor of Sociology, University of Essex (Co-I)
  • Birgitta Rabe
    Reader in Economics, University of Essex (Co-I)
  • Pilar Zueras
    Senior Research Officer, University of Essex


More Events


ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC)
Institute for Social and Economic Research
University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park

Follow us on Twitter @MiSoC_Essex @SoniaBhalotra