The vicious link between gender inequality and low fertility: a comparison between Italy and United Kingdom

Letizia Mencarini, University of Florence
Maria-Letizia Tanturri, University of Pavia

At macro level, Southern European countries are characterized both by higher gender inequality and lower fertility, compared to the Central-Northern countries. At micro level many studies show that there is a positive relationship between the degree of gender asymmetry within the couple and fertility. In this paper, the main hypothesis to test is whether mothers who work, and at the same time experience an absence of symmetrical roles in household and caring tasks within the family, have lower fertility than working women with a less marked compression of time and with a partner who participates more in the family organization. In our study we concentrate on dual-earners co-resident couples living in Italy and United Kingdom, verifying whether low gender equity lowers the fertility intentions. For Italy we use cross-sectional data from the 2003 Italian Multipurpose Survey, for United Kingdom the British Household Panel Study (2003 wave).

Presented in Session 31: Gendering family dynamics network 1