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Economic Insecurity and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Italy

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  • Francesca Modena
  • Concetta Rondinelli
  • Fabio Sabatini

Abstract

We aim to provide an explanation for the combination of the relatively low female participation rates and lowest-low fertility levels in Italy. Starting from the assumption that childbearing decisions also depend on uncertainty about future employment, income, and wealth, we empirically assess how fertility intentions are affected by job instability, which may severely compromise the employment stability of workers, and economic disadvantages in terms of household income and wealth, which may imply insufficient means to deal with potential adverse future events, thereby generating in the household feelings of anxiety and economic insecurity. We show that the instability of women's work status (i.e., the holding of occasional and precarious jobs) significantly discourages the decision to attempt having a first child. Low levels of household wealth significantly and positively influence the decision to postpone attempting a first child. The chances of further childbirth are significantly and negatively influenced by household income insecurity.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesca Modena & Concetta Rondinelli & Fabio Sabatini, 2014. "Economic Insecurity and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Italy," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(S1), pages 233-255, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:60:y:2014:i:s1:p:s233-s255
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    Cited by:

    1. Adrián Nieto, 2018. "Permanent employment and fertility: The importance of job security and the career costs of childbearing," Discussion Papers 2018/01, University of Nottingham, Centre for Finance, Credit and Macroeconomics (CFCM).
    2. Daniele Vignoli & Letizia Mencarini & Giammarco Alderotti, 2018. "Is the Impact of Employment Uncertainty on Fertility Intentions Channeled by Subjective Well-Being?," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2018_04, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    3. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2016. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do Online Social Networks Raise Social Comparisons?," Working Papers 2016.32, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    4. Fabio Sabatini & Francesco Sarracino, 2015. "Keeping up with the e-Joneses: Do online social networks raise social comparisons?," Papers 1507.08863, arXiv.org.
    5. Marina Romaguera de la Cruz, 2017. "Economic insecurity in Spain: A multidimensional analysis," Working Papers 448, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Raffaella Coppier & Fabio Sabatini & Mauro Sodini, 2018. "Social capital, human capital and fertility," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 2018/04, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
    7. Fabio Berton & Matteo Migheli, 2015. "Estimating the marginal rate of substitution between wage and employment protection," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 143, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    8. Romina Boarini & Lars Osberg, 2014. "Economic Insecurity: Editors' Introduction," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 60(S1), pages 1-4, May.
    9. repec:spr:lsprsc:v:11:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s12076-018-0204-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:spr:anresc:v:60:y:2018:i:2:d:10.1007_s00168-017-0816-7 is not listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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