Employment Careers and Fertility in Italy: The Gender-Specific Effect within Couples

Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
Silvana Salvini, University of Florence

This research examines the effects of women’s labour market participation on reproductive behaviours in Italy, from a couple-level perspective. Few studies, in fact, have been focusing on the couple-level, although for most parents, employment decisions are negotiated within the context of heterosexual couples, where gender difference is created and maintained. Particularly, this paper aims at investigating the impact of both members’ labour force status on fertility outcomes. In addition, the hypothesis of “Self Selection” in contemporary Italian fertility development is tested. Namely, because the intensity of second and third birth concerns the selected group of women who already have one child, it can be advocated that this group has shown a preference for motherhood and committed to a child-oriented “life plan”. In order to investigate the “self-selection” hypothesis we will proceed by estimating the transition to the first, second and third child jointly, including a common unobserved heterogeneity factor.

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Presented in Session 19: Factors Affecting Fertility Timing