Volume 25 - Article 9 | Pages 311–336

Economic resources and the first child in Italy: A focus on income and job stability

By Elisabetta Santarelli

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Date received:14 Jan 2010
Date published:29 Jul 2011
Word count:7809
Keywords:event history analysis, income, job stability, transition to first child
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/


At the turn of the twentieth century Italy registered a lowest-low fertility level, i.e., a total fertility rate of 1.26 children per woman in 2000. In this paper we investigate whether and how in that period economic resources and, in particular, income and job stability were linked with couples’ decisions to enter parenthood. With this aim, we use data from ECHP and carry out a longitudinal analysis on a sample of childless married couples to study the transition to their first child. Results show that the couples’ employment arrangement played some role in first child rates, with the single earner arrangement experiencing the highest first birth rates. We also find that employed women with labour income have much lower first birth rates than non-working women, while no evidence is found for male earnings and other sources of income. As concerns job instability, we find evidence that it was not significantly linked with the transition to first time parenthood during the investigated period.

Author's Affiliation

Elisabetta Santarelli - Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico, Italy [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Leaving home, family support and intergenerational ties in Italy: Some regional differences
Volume 21 - Article 1

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