Note: We are grateful to an anonymous referee whose comments allowed a substantial improvement of the paper. We also thank Anna D'Addio, Conchita D'Ambrosio, and Lars Osberg for valuable comments and suggestions. The paper has benefited from comments by Gabriella Berloffa, Alessandra Gualtieri, and participants at the IARIW–OECD Conference on Economic insecurity. All errors are our own. The opinions expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the institutions they are affiliated with.
Economic Insecurity and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Italy
Article first published online: 17 MAY 2013
© 2013 International Association for Research in Income and Wealth
Review of Income and Wealth
How to Cite
Modena, F., Rondinelli, C. and Sabatini, F. (2013), Economic Insecurity and Fertility Intentions: The Case of Italy. Review of Income and Wealth. doi: 10.1111/roiw.12044
- Article first published online: 17 MAY 2013
- economic insecurity;
- employment instability;
- precarious employment;
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.