Gender Roles and Fertility Intentions in Italy

Raffaella Patimo, Università degli Studi di Bari A. Moro
Thaís García Pereiro, Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro"
Letizia Mencarini, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
Maria Letizia Tanturri, University of Padova

This study tests the gender theory of fertility behaviour by examining whether unequal division of household work helps to explain low fertility intentions observed in the Italian context. Gender equality considerations within the family, and its possible mismatch with gender equity (i.e. the perceived fairness of treatment), has gained considerable traction in explaining fertility. Drawing on data from the last available survey on Families, Social Subjects and Life Cycle conducted in 2016 by the Italian Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), we selected a sample of partnered individuals (20-45) to accurately disentangle gender relations within the private sphere and their reported fertility intentions. From the available survey questions, we construct an indicator measuring the domestic burden that women carry, representing the main independent variable of multivariate logit models of fertility intentions. Our preliminary results show that positive fertility intentions diminishes with the domestic burden of women, and it also weakens when parity increases. Further analyses will add variables capturing the importance of values regarding gender roles within the couples and their tasks inside the family and in the labour market.

Keywords: Gender, Fertility and childbirth, Human capital and labour markets

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session P13.