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

Author(s): Daniele Vignoli | Sven Drefahl | Gustavo De Santis

Journal: Demographic Research
ISSN 1435-9871

Volume: 26;
Start page: 2;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: employment instability | first birth | income | Italy

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.
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