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Job Instability and Family Planning: Insights from the Italian Puzzle

Fabio Sabatini ()

No 2010.90, Working Papers from Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

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.

Keywords: Fertility; Family Planning; Parenthood; Childbearing; Participation; Job Instability; Labour Precariousness; Social Capital; Italy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C25 J13 Z1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur and nep-soc
Date: 2010-06
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