Sex-role specialization or income pooling? The effects of women's wages on fertility in Italy and Poland

Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence
Anna Matysiak, Warsaw School of Economics
Tymon Sloczynski, Warsaw School of Economics

This paper aims to deepen our understanding of women’s fertility and employment behaviours by addressing the role of women’s wages and household income in the decision-making about family formation and women’s involvement in paid work. We address two competing hypotheses, namely the sex-role specialisation hypothesis vs. the income pooling hypothesis. For our analysis we implement panel data of the EU-SILC (Community Statistics on Income and Living Conditions) and compare two European countries – Italy and Poland; i.e., a Western and an Eastern European country. We model probability of childbirth using methods of panel data analysis that allow for accounting for selection bias caused by unobserved time-invariant characteristics of women which jointly affect fertility and labour market outcomes of individuals. The paper contributes to the understanding of the impact of women’s empowerment on fertility as well as the differentials in fertility and women’s employment levels across Europe.

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Presented in Session 25: Household income, women's wages and fertility