A dynamic study of the work-fertility relationship in Italy


  • Carla Rampichini Università degli Studi di Firenze
  • Silvana Salvini Università degli Studi di Firenze




The paper analyses the relationship between reproductive behaviour and working career of the woman on the basis on data deriving from the Fertility Survey carried out in Italy in 1995/96. In the Italian context, characterised both by the fertility in the world and a low women participation to the labour force, the study of the dynamic relationship between fertility and work participation is very relevant, considering the complex development of the Italian society, both for the women and labour market condition. By means of a logistic multilevel multiple-spell duration model, our analysis shows that the educational/work process influences the timing of the transition to motherhood: women tend to bear their first child after the conclusion of the educational process. Moreover, having a job after this process represents a cause of a greater delay in the moment of child bearing, but the final intensity of the process is quite similar whatever is the educational /working pattern. The working path changes both the timing and the final intensity of the second child, and these effects are quite different in the North , Centre and South of Italy. Our model enables us to use the casual approach correcting for the distortion in the parameter estimation deriving from the non-exogeneity of working career, taking into account possible common unobservable. The presence of a significant random working effect and of a significant correlation between the two random components of the model means that the effect of the working career on the fertility process depends on unobservable characteristics of each woman.

How to Cite

Rampichini, C., & Salvini, S. (2001). A dynamic study of the work-fertility relationship in Italy. Statistica, 61(3), 385–405. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1973-2201/1185