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

  • Marcantonio Caltabiano

    (Università di Messina)

  • Maria Castiglioni

    (Università di Padova)

  • Alessandro Rosina

    (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano)

Registered author(s):

    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 socialiâ€. 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.

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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol21/23/21-23.pdf
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    Article provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its journal Demographic Research.

    Volume (Year): 21 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 23 (November)
    Pages: 681-718

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    Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:21:y:2009:i:23
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

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    1. Ron Lesthaeghe & Paul Willems, 1999. "Is Low Fertility a Temporary Phenomenon in the European Union?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 211-228.
    2. Peter McDonald, 2000. "Gender Equity in Theories of Fertility Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 427-439.
    3. Maria Letizia Tanturri & Letizia Mencarini, 2008. "Childless or Childfree? Paths to Voluntary Childlessness in Italy," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 34(1), pages 51-77.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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).
    7. Tomas Frejka & Gérard Calot, 2001. "Cohort Reproductive Patterns in Low-Fertility Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 103-132.
    8. repec:cai:poeine:pope_604_0389 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. 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.
    10. Tomas Frejka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 2: Parity distribution and completed family size in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(4), pages 47-72, July.
    11. Siv Gustafsson, 2001. "Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247.
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