Economic Insecurity and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Italy

23 Pages Posted: 10 May 2014

See all articles by Francesca Modena

Francesca Modena

Bank of Italy

Concetta Rondinelli

Bank of Italy

Fabio Sabatini

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics and Law; Euricse

Date Written: May 2014

Abstract

We aim to provide an explanation for the combination of the relatively low female participation rates and lowest‐low fertility levels in Italy. Starting from the assumption that childbearing decisions also depend on uncertainty about future employment, income, and wealth, we empirically assess how fertility intentions are affected by job instability, which may severely compromise the employment stability of workers, and economic disadvantages in terms of household income and wealth, which may imply insufficient means to deal with potential adverse future events, thereby generating in the household feelings of anxiety and economic insecurity. We show that the instability of women's work status (i.e., the holding of occasional and precarious jobs) significantly discourages the decision to attempt having a first child. Low levels of household wealth significantly and positively influence the decision to postpone attempting a first child. The chances of further childbirth are significantly and negatively influenced by household income insecurity.

Keywords: childbearing, economic insecurity, employment instability, fertility, income, Italy, precarious employment, wealth

JEL Classification: C25, J13

Suggested Citation

Modena, Francesca and Rondinelli, Concetta and Sabatini, Fabio, Economic Insecurity and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Italy (May 2014). Review of Income and Wealth, Vol. 60, pp. S233-S255, 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2435357 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/roiw.12044

Francesca Modena

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Concetta Rondinelli

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
Rome, 00184
Italy

Fabio Sabatini

Sapienza University of Rome - Department of Economics and Law ( email )

Piazzale Aldo Moro 5
Roma, Rome 00185
Italy

Euricse ( email )

Via S. Giovanni 36
38122 Trento (TN)
Italy

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