Does more support in children care make a difference in working women fertility?

Antonella Pinnelli, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"
Francesca Fiori, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

Italy is a country characterised by an extremely low fertility. Between the factors which are constraining fertility levels even below couples’ expectations, there is a very traditional gender-system and scarce support from the institutions, perhaps mitigated by the the support of the family network. Women, in fact, have always been devoted to the care of their children, even when involved in the labour market, and not much has been done to help them in the conciliation of times for care and times for work. As a consequence many of them limit their fertility, giving birth often to a single child. In this paper we study the intention of giving birth to a second child for women who recently had their first child, to highlight the influence of father’s involvement in child care and household work, of institutional support and of the support of the family network in caring the child. We hypothesize that every form of support is associated to a greater inclination toward the transition to second birth. We control for demographic and socio-economic caracteristics of the woman and the partner, problems at delivery and health condition of the child, availability of paid domestic help, gender relations within the couple. The analysis is carried out by means of logistic regressions. Data come from the Survey on Births(ISTAT 2002), carried out on a sample of 50000 mothers who had a child in 2000-2001. Preliminary results show that: working women enjoy more support from partner, family network and institutions; fertility expectations of working and not working women do not differ significantly; expected fertility increases if there is greater fathers’ involvement in child-bearing and child-rearing, while other aspects of gender relations are not important; and support of family network and institutions does not influence the probability of transition to the second child.

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Presented in Session 20: Fertility employment and the labour market