Volume 26 - Article 2 | Pages 41-62

Whose job instability affects the likelihood of becoming a parent in Italy? A tale of two partners

By Daniele Vignoli, Sven Drefahl, Gustavo De Santis

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Date received:12 Jul 2011
Date published:26 Jan 2012
Word count:4974
Keywords:employment instability, first birth, income, Italy
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection “Economic uncertainty and family dynamics in Europe” at http://www.demographic-research.org/special/12/


We examine the likelihood of becoming a parent in Italy taking into account the employment (in)stability of both partners in a couple. We use data from four waves of the Italian section of the EU-SILC (Statistics on Income and Living Condition), 2004-2007, accounting for its longitudinal nature. Overall, our results suggest that Italian couples are neither fully traditional nor entirely modern: the "first pillar" (i.e., a male partner with a stable and well-paid job) is still crucial in directing fertility decisions, because, in our interpretation, it gives the household a feeling of (relative) economic security. But this "old" family typology is becoming rare. Increasingly, both partners are employed, and in this case the characteristics of their employment prove important. A permanent occupation for both partners is associated with higher fertility, while alternative job typologies for either of the two depress fertility.

Author's Affiliation

Daniele Vignoli - Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy [Email]
Sven Drefahl - Stockholm University, Sweden [Email]
Gustavo De Santis - Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy [Email]

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