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Italy’s path to very low fertility: the adequacy of economic and second demographic transition theories

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Author Info

  • David K. Kertzer
  • Michael White

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Laura Bernardi

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Giuseppe Gabrielli

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Abstract

    The deep drop of the fertility rate in Italy to among the lowest in the world challenges contemporary theories of childbearing and family building. Among high-income countries, Italy was presumed to have characteristics of family values and female labor force participation that would favor higher fertility than its European neighbors to the north. We test competing economic and cultural explanations, drawing on new nationally representative, longitudinal data to examine first union, first birth, and second birth. Our event history analysis finds some support for economic determinants of family formation and fertility, but the clear importance of regional differences and of secularization suggests that such an explanation is at best incomplete and that cultural and ideational factors must be considered.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/en/projects_publications/publications_1904/journal_articles/italys_path_to_very_low_fertility_the_adequacy_of_economic_and_second_demographic_transition_2855.htm
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2006-049.

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    Length: 44 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2006-049

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: Italy; event history analysis; fertility decline; living space;

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