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Internal Seminars 2017: Rising economic uncertainty and fertility behaviour etc.

12/09/2017 dalle 13:15 alle 15:30

Dove Dipartimento di Scienze Statistiche, via delle Belle Arti n. 41

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Marco Novelli
Research fellow

Understanding the changes in fertility behaviour is one of the most analysed issue in demographic research and a great attention has been addressed on the determinants of fertility. Although the effects of the economic crisis on fertility in European countries have been extensively studied, relatively little research has been done on the ways in which economic recessions affect fertility intentions. Using data from the Multipurpose Survey – Family and Social Subjects in 2003 and 2009, we applied multilevel regression models to investigate the determinants of whether Italian men and women intended to have a(nother) child within three years following the survey. Multilevel models allowed us to disentangle the effects of individual and contextual (regional-level) variables on short-term fertility intentions before and after the onset of the 2007/2008 Great Recession. Our results highlight the rising importance of the economic contextual environment following the onset of the crisis, which seem to prevail over individual conditions; this confirms the hypothesis that short-term fertility intentions may be strongly influenced by economic environment during times of recession. Moreover, it turns out that, compared to men, women appear to require more protective factors when planning to have a child. Especially in conditions of rising uncertainty and a weak institutional setting, women appear more cautious and more risk-averse in their childbearing planning.

Alessandra Luati e Silvia Cagnone