Professor Peter McDonald

Major population award for Crawford academic

04 May 2015

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Peter McDonald is Professor of Demography in Crawford School. He is President of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population for the years, 2010-2013 and is a Member of the Council of Advisers of Population Europe. He currently teaches the course Introduction to Planning and Policy (POGO8049).

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Crawford School demographer Professor Peter McDonald has been awarded the 2015 Irene B. Taeuber Award.

The major prize, from the Population Association of America, recognises unusually original or important contributions to the scientific study of population, or a record of exceptionally sound and innovative research.

Professor McDonald is just the fourth non-American to win the award since its inception in 1977.

He is well known for his contributions 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.

This award comes on top of another major honour in international demography, with Professor McDonald elected President of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population in 2010-2013.

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