Education and fertility desires in Italy

Alessandro Rosina, Università Cattolica, Milan
Emiliano Sironi, Università Cattolica, Milan
Maria Rita Testa, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

The aim of this analysis is to investigate which are the variables that affect the choice of having children for young Italian people aged between 18 and 29 years, and in particular exploring and understanding the role of the variable “level of education”. Using data from the “Rapporto giovani”, a project guided by the "Istituto Superiore Giuseppe Toniolo", in collaboration with the "Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore", the empirical analysis implements ordinal logistic regressions models on fertility desires, fertility expectations, and the difference between desires and expectations. Our results support the hypothesis that education is positively associated with the demand for children: Education is positively correlated with the desires for children but not with the expected number of children among women; the gap between desired and expected family size increases with level of education especially among women. Probably, women with a higher level of education tend to be more oriented towards professional achievement and desire larger family size but they are also aware of the difficulties they will face in combining work with family size preferences and thus adjust consistently their reproductive choices

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 Presented in Session 84. Fertility preferences 2