Couples’ Employment Characteristics and Fertility in Italy

Francesca Berti, University of Florence
Ilaria Landini, University of Florence

Growing economic uncertainty has become an intrinsic characteristic of contemporary globalized societies in which an increasing number of people are moving in and out of (often precarious) jobs. Among other things, economic uncertainty may affect long-term commitments, including family formation and having children. In this study, we address the relationship between partners’ employment characteristics and transition to the first child in Italian couples, using event history analysis models. Our preliminary results suggest that the most relevant employment characteristics for fertility are gendered: men’s employment security (permanent vs temporary contracts) and women’s work arrangements (full-time vs part-time). We also confirm that the progression to the first child depends mainly on the male labour market status and characteristics: the man remains the household provider (“bread-winner”) and a female income is not particularly important, even if more and more women are workers and decide to achieve working careers.

Presented in Poster Session 2