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Job instability and family planning: insights from the Italian puzzle

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  • Fabio Sabatini

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Abstract

This paper carries 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 possible parents. Our results do not support established 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 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 current family size and the strength of family ties.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Sabatini, 2010. "Job instability and family planning: insights from the Italian puzzle," Department of Economics University of Siena 584, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  • Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:584
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Chiara Pronzato, 2009. "Motherhood and market work decisions in institutional context: a European perspective," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(suppl_1), pages 147-171, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fertility; family planning; parenthood; childbearing; participation; job instability; labour precariousness; social capital; Italy.;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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