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Fertility Intentions of Employed Mothers in Italy: Does the Choice of Public versus Private Sector Matter?

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  • Laura Cavalli

    ()
    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

Abstract

This work aims at understanding whether, and the extent to which, the intention of having other children is influenced by aspects related to the employment sector chosen by “new” mothers (those who already have one child less than 2 years old). Using Italian data from the Birth Sample Survey conducted by the Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT) in 2005, this work models new mothers’ preferences for family formation and for “working conditions”, namely the sector of employment, taking into account the potential endogeneity of the latter. Working in the public sector, which benefits from stronger employment protection, tends to influence the desired and the realized fertility of working mothers. This could be due to the existence of a lower level of wage discrimination compared to the private sector, to the higher level of job security and to the existence of family friendly policies. However, the choice of the working sector could be endogenous. In fact, once the selection effect is taken into account and the choice of working sector and the desired fertility are modelled together, the correlation among unobservable women’s characteristics affecting the two choices is found to be negative: women who desire more children seem to be less likely to self-select into the public sector. This last finding could be the result of more productive women’s working strategies: given that they are those more work oriented (and less family-oriented), they tend to enter into the public sector, a less gender discriminated sector.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Verona, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 27/2012.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:27/2012

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Related research

Keywords: Desired Fertility; Total Demand for Children; Working Mothers; Public-Private Sector; Seemingly Unrelated Regression models;

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References

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  1. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2003. "Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Micro-Level Evidence for the OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 348, OECD Publishing.
  2. Paola Di Giulio & Alessandro Rosina, 2007. "Intergenerational family ties and the diffusion of cohabitation in Italy," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(14), pages 441-468, May.
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  5. Hans-Peter Kohler & Francesco C. Billari & José Antonio Ortega, 2002. "The Emergence of Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe During the 1990s," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
  6. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Jeff Frank, 2002. "Temporary Jobs: Stepping Stones or Dead Ends?," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 8, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  7. Dustmann, C. & van Soest, A., 1997. "Public and Private Sector Wages of Male Workers in Germany," Economics Working Papers, European University Institute eco97/13, European University Institute.
  8. Laura Pagani, 2003. "Why Do People from Southern Italy Seek Jobs in the Public Sector?," LABOUR, CEIS, CEIS, vol. 17(1), pages 63-91, 03.
  9. Pedro Mira & Namkee Ahn, 2002. "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 667-682.
  10. Bratti, Massimiliano & Del Bono, Emilia & Vuri, Daniela, 2004. "New Mothers' Labour Force Participation in Italy: The Role of Job Characteristics," IZA Discussion Papers 1111, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Namkee Ahn & Pedro Mira, . "A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries," Working Papers 99-09, FEDEA.
  12. Bratti, Massimiliano & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos, 2008. "Explaining How Delayed Motherhood Affects Fertility Dynamics in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 3907, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-46 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Alessandro Rosina & Romina Fraboni, 2004. "Is marriage losing its centrality in Italy?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 11(6), pages 149-172, September.
  15. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1.
  16. Bettio, Francesca & Villa, Paola, 1998. "A Mediterranean Perspective on the Breakdown of the Relationship between Participation and Fertility," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(2), pages 137-71, March.
  17. Cappellari, Lorenzo, 2002. "Earnings dynamics and uncertainty in Italy: how do they differ between the private and public sectors?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 477-496, September.
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