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Fertility and education in contemporary Northern and Southern Italy

Author

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  • Gianpiero DALLA ZUANNA

    ()

  • Roberto IMPICCIATORE

    ()

Abstract

Several studies suggest that over the last several decades in Italy, the negative effects of education on fertility have attenuated. Recent analyses developed in other countries, however, highlight that considerations of the relationship between education and fertility should take selection bias into account. With this mind, we developed multiprocess hazard models with four simultaneous equations (one for each birth order) which include an unobserved heterogeneity component at the individual level. We then applied these models to a large sample obtained by merging and rearranging data from the annual ISTAT Multipurpose surveys (1993-2002) entitled “Aspects of daily life”. The positive effect of education on second and third birth order observed in a descriptive analysis and in models with independent equations is revealed to be due simply to a spurious relation. Net of selectivity, a negative relation between education and fertility emerges for second and third birth order. However, the persistence of this “traditional” link between education and fertility in Italy is stronger in the country’s southern, less developed regions, indicating that this negative association may weaken in the future (This paper is a revised version of the Departemental W. P. "Bassa fecondità e istruzione nell’Italia di fine Novecento", created on April 9th 2008).

Suggested Citation

  • Gianpiero DALLA ZUANNA & Roberto IMPICCIATORE, 2008. "Fertility and education in contemporary Northern and Southern Italy," Departmental Working Papers 2008-09, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano, revised 06 Dec 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2008-09
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    File URL: http://wp.demm.unimi.it/files/wp/2008/DEMM-2008_009wp.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Tomás Sobotka, 2004. "Is Lowest-Low Fertility in Europe Explained by the Postponement of Childbearing?," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 30(2), pages 195-220.
    2. Fiona Steele & Constantinos Kallis & Harvey Goldstein & Heather Joshi, 2005. "The relationship between childbearing and transitions from marriage and cohabitation in Britain," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 42(4), pages 647-673, November.
    3. Øystein Kravdal, 2007. "Effects of current education on second- and third-birth rates among Norwegian women and men born in 1964: Substantive interpretations and methodological issues," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(9), pages 211-246, November.
    4. Jan M. Hoem & Alexia Prskawetz & Gerda R. Neyer, 2001. "Autonomy or conservative adjustment? The effect of public policies and educational attainment on third births in Austria," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    5. Hans-Peter Kohler & Joseph L. Rodgers & Kaare Christensen, 1999. "Is Fertility Behavior in Our Genes? Findings from a Danish Twin Study," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(2), pages 253-288.
    6. Øystein Kravdal, 2002. "Is the Previously Reported Increase in Second- and Higher-order Birth Rates in Norway and Sweden from the mid-1970s Real or a Result of Inadequate Estimation Methods?," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 6(9), pages 241-262, March.
    7. Catherine Hakim, 2003. "A New Approach to Explaining Fertility Patterns: Preference Theory," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(3), pages 349-374.
    8. repec:cai:popine:popu_p1979_34n1_0173 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Lillard, Lee A., 1993. "Simultaneous equations for hazards : Marriage duration and fertility timing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 189-217, March.
    10. Dawn Upchurch & Lee Lillard & Constantijn Panis, 2002. "Nonmarital childbearing: Influences of education, marriage, and fertility," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 39(2), pages 311-329, May.
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    1. repec:spr:qualqt:v:51:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11135-016-0388-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Martin Klesment & Allan Puur & Leen Rahnu & Luule Sakkeus, 2014. "Varying association between education and second births in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(27), pages 813-860, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; education; hazard models; selection; unobserved heterogeneity.;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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