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Lowest-Low Fertility: Signs of a recovery in Italy?

Author

Listed:
  • Marcantonio Caltabiano

    (Università degli Studi di Messina (UNIME))

  • Maria Castiglioni

    (Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD))

  • Alessandro Rosina

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)

Abstract

This study aims to describe the process of birth postponement and recovery in Italy, a country with persistent very low fertility levels. The case of Italy is particularly significant given that this country carries great demographic weight in "Southern Europe"; an area characterized by cultural and institutional specificities which have important implications for the timing of family formation and the final number of children. We use data recently published by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat), applying a cohort approach to show changes in CTFRs and the timing of births for the 1950-1980 cohorts. In order to further evaluate the evolution of Italian “fertility ageing” across social groups (with a focus on female education) we also use individual level data from the 2003 Istat multipurpose survey “Famiglia e soggetti sociali”. We find that a recovery is presently in progress in the northern regions of Italy, even if not all postponed births are recovered. As expected, signs of recovery are above all evident among the youngest generations and more educated women.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcantonio Caltabiano & Maria Castiglioni & Alessandro Rosina, 2009. "Lowest-Low Fertility: Signs of a recovery in Italy?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 21(23), pages 681-718, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:21:y:2009:i:23
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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol21/23/21-23.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter McDonald, 2000. "Gender Equity in Theories of Fertility Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 427-439.
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    6. Gunnar Andersson & Marit Rønsen & Lisbeth B. Knudsen & Trude Lappegård & Gerda Neyer & Kari Skrede & Kathrin Teschner & Andres Vikat, 2009. "Cohort fertility patterns in the Nordic countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 20(14), pages 313-352, April.
    7. 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., vol. 28(4), pages 641-680.
    8. Dylan Kneale & Heather Joshi, 2008. "Postponement and childlessness - Evidence from two British cohorts," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(58), pages 1935-1968, November.
    9. repec:cai:poeine:pope_604_0389 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Del Boca, Daniela & Pasqua, Silvia & Pronzato, Chiara D., 2004. "Why Are Fertility and Women's Employment Rates So Low in Italy? Lessons from France and the U.K," IZA Discussion Papers 1274, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
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    Cited by:

    1. Battistin, Erich & De Nadai, Michele & Padula, Mario, 2014. "Roadblocks on the Road to Grandma's House: Fertility Consequences of Delayed Retirement," CEPR Discussion Papers 9945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0388-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:dem:demres:v:37:y:2017:i:20 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Jonas Wood & Karel Neels & Tine Kil, 2014. "The educational gradient of childlessness and cohort parity progression in 14 low fertility countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(46), pages 1365-1416, December.
    5. Francesco C. Billari & Vincenzo Galasso, 2014. "Fertility decisions and pension reforms. Evidence from natural experiments in Italy," IdEP Economic Papers 1403, USI Università della Svizzera italiana.
    6. Maria Rita Testa & Laura Cavalli & Alessandro Rosina, 2014. "The Effect of Couple Disagreement about Child-Timing Intentions: A Parity-Specific Approach," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(1), pages 31-53, March.
    7. García-Manglano, Javier & Nollenberger, Natalia & Sevilla, Almudena, 2014. "Gender, Time-Use, and Fertility Recovery in Industrialized Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 8613, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. Jonathan F. Fox & Sebastian Klüsener & Mikko Myrskylä, 2015. "Is a positive relationship between fertility and economic development emerging at the sub-national regional level? Theoretical considerations and evidence from Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2015-006, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    cohort fertility; education; fertility recovery; Italy; low fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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