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Income and childbearing decisions: evidence from Italy

  • Rondinelli, Concetta
  • Aassve, Arnstein
  • Billari, Francesco C.

During the early 1990s, Italy has been one of the first countries to reach lowest-low fertility, i.e. below 1.3 children per woman. In this paper we focus on the period during which such fertility levels arose in order to assess the impact of income on fertility decisions. So far, analyses have suffered from the lack of appropriate data; we create a new data set making use of two different surveys from Bank of Italy (SHIW) and ISTAT (Labor Force Survey) and we apply discrete-time duration models. For first births, we find evidence of non-proportional hazards and of some 'recuperation' effect: women with high predicted wages tend to delay the first birth, subsequently recuperating. For second and third births, instead, the availability of a good child-care system seems to play a key role and income exhibits small intensity. In a final section, we explore the possible effect on fertility of an increase in financial support for poorer families that took place in 1999.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2006-06.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2006
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2006-06
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
Fax: 44-1206-873151
Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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