The effect of women’s participation in labour market on postponement of childbearing: a comparison between Italy and Hungary

Annalisa Busetta, University of Palermo
Ornella Giambalvo, University of Palermo

towards low and very low fertility. With a total fertility rate falling to 1.3 in 2002 Hungary and Italy are fully consistent within the pattern of lowest-low fertility countries. The commonalities in fertility behaviour among these countries raise many questions: does regional context play a role in the delay or does it bring forward the postponement process? Do female labour market participation influences the postponement of fertility? Are differences between individuals with different family, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds relevant? And, most of all, are Mediterranean and Central-Eastern European countries destined to experience a long lasting low fertility? Or is their fertility decline come to an end? This paper intend to analyse the individual fertility behaviour and in particular the effect of the increasing female participation in the labour market on the transition to first childbirth. In this analysis both the generational and the regional perspective are taken into account to understand, how postponement behaviour is spreading from one region to the other and from one generation to the next. The analysis is based on the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey of Italy and Hungary. It adopts a multilevel event history model to focus on the micro-level relationship between the transition to adulthood and reproductive behaviour to understand the empirical importance of macro-level factors related to regional socio-economic and cultural differences and to indicate differences in micro-level relationships among people of different family, socio-economic, and educational backgrounds.

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Presented in Poster Session 3

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