IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Work status and family planning: insights from the Italian puzzle

  • Sabatini, Fabio

This paper uses a dataset built by the author on the basis of raw data taken from different national surveys to carry out an investigation into the socio-economic determinants of couples’ childbearing decisions in Italy. Since having children is in most cases a “couple matter”, the analysis accounts for the characteristics of both the aspiring parents. Our results contradict theoretical predictions according to which the increase in the opportunity cost of motherhood connected to higher female labour participation is responsible for the fall in fertility. On the contrary, the instability of the women’s work status (i.e. their being occasional, precarious, and low-paid workers) reveals to be a significant and strong dissuasive deterrent discouraging the decision to have children. Couples with unemployed women are less likely to plan childbearing as well. Other relevant explanatory variables are age, current family size, and the strength of family ties.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 18851.

in new window

Date of creation: 24 Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18851
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  2. Francesco C. Billari & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2002. "Patterns of lowest-low fertility in Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-040, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  3. Peri Giovanni, 2004. "Socio-Cultural Variables and Economic Success: Evidence from Italian Provinces 1951-1991," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-36, September.
  4. Alicia Adsera, 2006. "An Economic Analysis of the Gap Between Desired and Actual Fertility: The Case of Spain," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 75-95, 03.
  5. S. Philip Morgan, 2003. "Is low fertility a twenty-first-century demographic crisis?," Demography, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 589-603, November.
  6. Fabio Sabatini, 2006. "The Empirics of Social Capital and Economic Development: A Critical Perspective," Working Papers 2006.15, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  7. Ferrera, Maurizio, 2005. "The Boundaries of Welfare: European Integration and the New Spatial Politics of Social Protection," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199284672, July.
  8. Del Boca, Daniela & Sauer, Robert M., 2006. "Life Cycle Employment and Fertility Across Institutional Environments," IZA Discussion Papers 2285, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Henriette Engelhardt & Alexia Prskawetz, 2002. "On the changing correlation between fertility and female employment over space and time," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-052, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  10. Fabio, Sabatini, 2005. "The empirics of social capital and economic development: a critical perspective," MPRA Paper 2366, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Mar 2007.
  11. Anna Christina D'Addio & Marco Mira d'Ercole, 2005. "Trends and Determinants of Fertility Rates: The Role of Policies," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 27, OECD Publishing.
  12. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Role of Social Capital in Financial Development," NBER Working Papers 7563, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. repec:ucp:bkecon:9789053566510 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Leonardi, Robert, 1995. "Regional Development in Italy: Social Capital and the Mezzogiorno," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 165-79, Summer.
  15. Fabio Sabatini, 2008. "Social Capital and the Quality of Economic Development," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 466-499, 08.
  16. Tomas Kögel, 2001. "Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2001-034, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
  17. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2008. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: A European perspective," Working Papers 011, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
  18. Sabatini, Fabio, 2009. "Social capital as social networks: A new framework for measurement and an empirical analysis of its determinants and consequences," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 429-442, June.
  19. Alícia Adserà, 2004. "Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labor market institutions," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 17-43, February.
  20. repec:fda:fdaeee:13 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. John F. Helliwell & Robert D. Putnam, 1995. "Economic Growth and Social Capital in Italy," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 295-307, Summer.
  22. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:18851. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.