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

This article is part of the Special Collection 12 "Economic uncertainty and family dynamics in Europe"

Abstract

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

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