One of the major explanations brought forward for the emergence if low fertility in Italy (and other Mediterranean countries) has been increased education and labour force participation among women. The argument relies on the fact that higher education and earnings increase women’s opportunity cost, which in turn delay the onset of childbearing and therefore reduce completed fertility. In this paper we consider the role of women’s socio-economic status on delaying motherhood and fertility. Using two different data sets, one to infer socio-economic status, the other to estimate models of first, second and third births, we show that women’s socio-economic status indeed delays the onset of motherhood, but also that there are strong recuperation effects which works through first and second births. Socioeconomic status has little effect on third births however. The paper demonstrates how such delay and recuperation effects can be estimated through a multi-spell hazard rate model. We also perform extensive sensitivity analysis, and show that controlling for unobserved heterogeneity is important but that the assumption imposed on its distribution function is of minor importance.

Socio-economic differences in postponement and recuperation of fertility in Italy: results from a multi-spell random effect model

RONDINELLI, CONCETTA;AASSVE, ARNSTEIN;BILLARI, FRANCESCO CANDELORO
2006

Abstract

One of the major explanations brought forward for the emergence if low fertility in Italy (and other Mediterranean countries) has been increased education and labour force participation among women. The argument relies on the fact that higher education and earnings increase women’s opportunity cost, which in turn delay the onset of childbearing and therefore reduce completed fertility. In this paper we consider the role of women’s socio-economic status on delaying motherhood and fertility. Using two different data sets, one to infer socio-economic status, the other to estimate models of first, second and third births, we show that women’s socio-economic status indeed delays the onset of motherhood, but also that there are strong recuperation effects which works through first and second births. Socioeconomic status has little effect on third births however. The paper demonstrates how such delay and recuperation effects can be estimated through a multi-spell hazard rate model. We also perform extensive sensitivity analysis, and show that controlling for unobserved heterogeneity is important but that the assumption imposed on its distribution function is of minor importance.
Rondinelli, Concetta; Aassve, Arnstein; Billari, FRANCESCO CANDELORO
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11565/1885391
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