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Fertility Intentions of Employed Mothers in Italy: Does the Choice of Public versus Private Sector Matter?

  • Laura Cavalli

    ()

    (Department of Economics (University of Verona))

This work aims at understanding whether, and the extent to which, the intention of having other children is influenced by aspects related to the employment sector chosen by “new” mothers (those who already have one child less than 2 years old). Using Italian data from the Birth Sample Survey conducted by the Italian National Statistical Institute (ISTAT) in 2005, this work models new mothers’ preferences for family formation and for “working conditions”, namely the sector of employment, taking into account the potential endogeneity of the latter. Working in the public sector, which benefits from stronger employment protection, tends to influence the desired and the realized fertility of working mothers. This could be due to the existence of a lower level of wage discrimination compared to the private sector, to the higher level of job security and to the existence of family friendly policies. However, the choice of the working sector could be endogenous. In fact, once the selection effect is taken into account and the choice of working sector and the desired fertility are modelled together, the correlation among unobservable women’s characteristics affecting the two choices is found to be negative: women who desire more children seem to be less likely to self-select into the public sector. This last finding could be the result of more productive women’s working strategies: given that they are those more work oriented (and less family-oriented), they tend to enter into the public sector, a less gender discriminated sector.

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Paper provided by University of Verona, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 27/2012.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ver:wpaper:27/2012
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  1. Emilia Del Bono & Massimiliano Bratti & Daniela Vuri, 2004. "New mothers’ labour force participation in Italy: the role of job characteristics," CHILD Working Papers wp05_04, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
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  12. Francesca Bettio & Paola Villa, 1996. "A Mediterranean Perspective on the Break-Down of the Relationship between Participation and Fertility," Department of Economics Working Papers 9605, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
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  14. Rondinelli, Concetta & Aassve, Arnstein & Billari, Francesco C., 2006. "Socio-economic differences in postponement and recuperation of fertility in Italy: results from a multi-spell random effect model," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-46, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  15. Cameron, A Colin & Johansson, Per, 1997. "Count Data Regression Using Series Expansions: With Applications," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 203-23, May-June.
  16. 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.
  17. Bratti, Massimiliano & Tatsiramos, Konstantinos, 2008. "Explaining How Delayed Motherhood Affects Fertility Dynamics in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 3907, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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