nep-dem New Economics Papers
on Demographic Economics
Issue of 2019‒11‒18
one paper chosen by
Héctor Pifarré i Arolas
Universitat Pompeu Fabra

  1. Employment Uncertainty and Fertility Intentions: Stability or Resilience? By Arianna Gatta; Francesco Mattioli; Letizia Mencarini; Daniele Vignoli

  1. By: Arianna Gatta (European University Institute); Francesco Mattioli (Bocconi University); Letizia Mencarini (Bocconi University); Daniele Vignoli (University of Florence)
    Abstract: OBJECTIVE: In this study we test whether perceived stability of employment and perceived resilience to potential job loss affect fertility intentions, net of individual level risk attitudes and considering variation in the local macroeconomic conditions. BACKGROUND: The role of employment uncertainty as a fertility driver has been explored in a number of studies with a limited set of constructs, and with inconclusive results. A key reason for this heterogeneous pattern is that scholars did not recognize the multidimensionality and the prospective nature of employment uncertainty. We address these oversights by considering two key dimensions of employment uncertainty: perceived stability of employment and perceived resilience to potential job loss. METHOD: Our study is conducted using the newly-released 2017 OECD Italian Trustlab survey and its built-in module on self-assessed employment uncertainty (N=521). We perform multivariate analysis using ordered logistic regression. RESULTS: Perception of employment resilience is a powerful predictor of fertility intentions, whereas perception of employment stability has only a limited impact. The observed relationship between resilience and fertility intentions is robust to the inclusion of person-specific risk attitude and it does not depend on aggregate-level variables, such as unemployment and fixed-term contract rates in the area of residence. CONCLUSION: With this paper, we argue that the notion of resilience is crucial for making sense of economic prospects in connection to fertility planning.
    Keywords: Employment Uncertainty; Fertility Intentions; Resilience; Stability; Italy; Trustlab survey
    JEL: J13 J21
    Date: 2019–11

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