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Preference theory and low fertility: A comparative perspective

Author

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  • Agnese Vitali
  • Francesco C. Billari
  • Alexia Prskawetz
  • Maria Rita Testa

Abstract

The discussion on the causes of the most recent fertility decline in Europe, and in particular on the emergence of lowest low fertility, emphasizes the relevance of cultural factors as compared to economic ones. Within such framework, the heterogeneity of preferences concerning the career vs. family dichotomy has been systematized in the Preference Theory approach developed by Catherine Hakim. This heterogeneity, however, has been so far underinvestigated in a comparative framework. This paper makes use of new comparative data from the 2004/05 Round of the European Social Survey to test the links between individual-level preferences and both fertility outcomes and fertility intentions, in a variety of societal settings. Results confirm an association between work-family lifestyle preferences and realized fertility in a variety of European countries, while they do not support the relevance of lifestyle preferences on fertility intentions.

Suggested Citation

  • Agnese Vitali & Francesco C. Billari & Alexia Prskawetz & Maria Rita Testa, 2007. "Preference theory and low fertility: A comparative perspective," Working Papers 001, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  • Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:001
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    Cited by:

    1. Manuel Reverberi & Andrea Trapani, 2016. "The child care system in Emilia-Romagna," Center for the Analysis of Public Policies (CAPP) 0141, Universita di Modena e Reggio Emilia, Dipartimento di Economia "Marco Biagi".
    2. Albert López-Ibor, Rocío & Escot Mangas, Lorenzo & Fernández Cornejo, José Andrés, 2010. "La predisposición de las estudiantes universitarias a auto-limitarse profesionalmente en el futuro por razones de conciliación/The Predisposition of Feminine University Students to Professional Self-L," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 28, pages 203(32á)-20, Abril.
    3. 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.
    4. Paula Gobbi, 2013. "A model of voluntary childlessness," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 963-982, July.
    5. Karina Shreffler & David Johnson, 2013. "Fertility Intentions, Career Considerations and Subsequent Births: The Moderating Effects of Women’s Work Hours," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 34(3), pages 285-295, September.
    6. Anna Giraldo & Gianpiero Dalla-Zuanna & Enrico Rettore, 2015. "Childcare and participation at work in North-East Italy: Why do Italian and foreign mothers behave differently?," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 24(2), pages 339-358, July.
    7. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0388-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ina Berninger & Bernd Weiß & Michael Wagner, 2011. "On the links between employment, partnership quality, and the desire to have a first child," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 24(24), pages 579-610, April.
    9. Anne Roeters & Jornt J. Mandemakers & Marieke Voorpostel, 2016. "Parenthood and Well-Being: The Moderating Role of Leisure and Paid Work," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(3), pages 381-401, August.
    10. repec:kap:poprpr:v:36:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11113-017-9437-1 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Preference Theory; low and lowest low fertility; Europe; European Social Survey; welfare regime;

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