Advertisement

Journal of Population Research

, Volume 31, Issue 2, pp 151–192 | Cite as

The effect of women’s participation in the labour market on the postponement of first childbirth: a comparison of Italy and Hungary

  • Annalisa Busetta
  • Ornella Giambalvo
Article

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of increasing female participation in the labour market on the transition to first childbirth. Regional perspectives are considered to help us understand how postponement behaviour is changing over time and at different paces in each region. The analysis is based on the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey of Italy and Hungary. We use a multilevel event history random intercept model to examine the effect of individuals’ positions in the labour market on the transition to motherhood, controlling for differences in macrolevel factors related to regional backgrounds in the two countries. The regional data for Italy came from the Italian National Statistical Institute, and for Hungary from our imputation developed from the time series available at the national and the regional levels (Hungarian Central Statistical Office, KSH). The postponement of first childbirth is strongly linked to the increasing involvement of women in paid work, but with opposite effects in the two countries. Even if we control for changes in women’s levels of education over time and for shifts in women’s aspirations and levels of attainment in the labour market, we find that being employed remains a risk factor for the postponement of the first birth among Italian women, and a strong protective factor among Hungarian women. At the contextual level, the variables that take into account the regional socio-economic changes provides evidence of important effects on individual behaviour among Italian women, and of only minor effects among Hungarian women. All of the regional breakdowns in both Italy and Hungary show that the postponement of motherhood goes hand-in-hand with the acceptance of deep cultural and socio-economic changes.

Keywords

Low fertility Postponement First job Education Multilevel event history models 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank the two anonymous reviewers for their extremely useful comments, which have helped us to significantly improve the paper, and Giovanni Boscaino for helping with the regional maps of Hungary and Italy. The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by University of Palermo [Grant No. ORPA06YH89 under the responsibility of Ornella Giambalvo]. Although this paper is the result of the joint effort of both authors, introduction and lowest-low fertility sections are attributable to O. Giambalvo whereas all the other sections to A. Busetta.

References

  1. Aassve, A., Billari, F. C., & Spéder, Z. (2006a). Societal transition, policy changes and family formation: Evidence from Hubeckerngary. European Journal of Population, 22(2), 127–152.Google Scholar
  2. Aassve, A., Burgess, S., Propper, C., & Dickson, M. (2006b). Employment, family union and childbearing decisions in Great Britain. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, 169(4), 781–804.Google Scholar
  3. Adserà, A. (2004). Changing fertility rates in developed countries. The impact of labour market institutions. Journal of Population Economics, 17, 17–43.Google Scholar
  4. Adserà, A. (2011a). Where are the babies? Labor market conditions and fertility in Europe. European Journal of Population, 27, 1–32.Google Scholar
  5. Adserà, A. (2011b). The interplay of employment uncertainty and education in explaining second births in Europe. Demographic Research, 25(16), 513–544.Google Scholar
  6. Ahn, N., & Mira, P. (2002). A note on the changing relationship between fertility and female employment rates in developed countries. Journal of Population Economics, 15, 667–682.Google Scholar
  7. Allison, P. D. (1984). Event history models. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Press.Google Scholar
  8. Amuedo-Dorantes, C., & Kimmel, J. (2005). The motherhood wage gap for women in the United States: The importance of college and fertility delay. Review of Economics of the Household, 3(1), 17–48.Google Scholar
  9. Axinn, W. G., Clarkberg, M. E., & Thornton, A. (1994). Family influences on family size preferences. Demography, 31, 65–79.Google Scholar
  10. Becker, G. S. (1973). A theory of marriage: Part I. The Journal of Political Economy, 81, 813–846.Google Scholar
  11. Becker, G. S. (1981). A treatise on the family. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Becker, G., & Lewis, H. G. (1973). On the interaction between the quantity and quality of children. The Journal of Political Economy, 81, S279–S288.Google Scholar
  13. Begall, K. H., & Mills, M. (2012). The impact of occupation and occupational sex segregation on fertility in the Netherlands. European Sociological Review, doi:  10.1093/esr/jcs051.
  14. Benjamin, K. (2001). Men, women, and low fertility: Analysis across time and country. Unpublished Working Paper: University of North Carolina.Google Scholar
  15. Berent, J. (1953). Relationship between family sizes of the successive generations. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly Bulletin, 31, 39–50.Google Scholar
  16. Bernhardt, E. (1993). Fertility and employment. European Sociological Review, 9, 25–42.Google Scholar
  17. Billari, F. C. (2008). Lowest-low fertility in Europe: Exploring the causes and finding some surprises. The Japanese Journal of Population, 6(1), 2–18.Google Scholar
  18. Billari, F. C., & Kohler, H. P. (2004). Patterns of low and very low fertility in Europe. Population Studies, 58(2), 161–176.Google Scholar
  19. Blossfeld, H. P., & Huinink, J. (1991). Human capital investments or norms of role transition? How women’s schooling and career affect the process of family formation. The American Journal of Sociology, 97(1), 143–168.Google Scholar
  20. Blossfeld, H. P., & Rohwer, G. (2001). Techniques of event history modelling. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  21. Bongaarts, J., & Feeney, G. (1998). On the quantum and tempo of fertility. Population and Development Review, 24(2), 271–291.Google Scholar
  22. Breen, R. (1997). Risk, recommodification and stratification. Sociology, 31(3), 473–489.Google Scholar
  23. Breen, R. (2005). Explaining cross-national variation in youth unemployment: Market and institutional factors. European Sociological Review, 21(2), 125–134.Google Scholar
  24. Brewster, K. L., & Rindfuss, R. R. (2000). Fertility and women’s employment in industrialized nations. Annual Review of Sociology, 26, 271–296.Google Scholar
  25. Caltabiano, M., Castiglioni, M., & Rosina, A. (2009). Lowest-low fertility: Signs of a recovery in Italy? Demographic Research, 23, 681–718.Google Scholar
  26. Coleman, D. (2006). Immigration and ethnic change in low-fertility countries: A third demographic transition? Population and Development Review, 32(3), 401–446.Google Scholar
  27. d’Addio, A. C., & Mira d’Ercole, M. (2005). Trends and determinants of fertility rates in OECD countries: The role of policies. OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, 27.Google Scholar
  28. Dalla Zuanna, G., & Tanturri, M. L. (2007). Veneti che cambiano. La popolazione sotto la lente di quattro censimenti. Verona: CIERRE.Google Scholar
  29. de Laat, J., & Sevilla-Sanz, A. (2011). Working women, men’s home time and lowest low fertility. Feminist Economics, 17(2), 87–119.Google Scholar
  30. De Rose, A., Racioppi, F., & Zanatta, A. L. (2008). Italy: Delayed adaptation of social institutions to changes in family behaviour. Demographic Research, Special Collection, 7(19), 665–704.Google Scholar
  31. De Sandre, P., Ongaro, F., Rettaroli, R., & Salvini, S. (1997). Matrimonio e figli: tra rinvio e rinuncia. Bologna: Il Mulino.Google Scholar
  32. Del Boca, D. (1998). Labor policies, economic flexibility and women’s work: The Italian experience. In E. Drew & R. Emerek (Eds.), Women’s work and labor markets. London/New York: Routledge Press.Google Scholar
  33. Del Boca, D. (2002a). Low fertility and labour force participation of Italian women: Evidence and interpretations. OECD Labour Market and Social Policy Occasional Papers 61, OECD Publishing. doi: 10.1787/263482758546.
  34. Del Boca, D. (2002b). The effect of child care and part time on participation and fertility of Italian women. Journal of Population Economics, 15(3), 549–573.Google Scholar
  35. Del Bono, E. (2001). Estimating the fertility responses to expectations: Evidence from the 1958 British cohort. Discussion paper, No. 80, University of Oxford.Google Scholar
  36. Easterlin, R. (1976). Population change and farm settlement in the Northern United States. Journal of Economic History, 36(1), 45–75.Google Scholar
  37. Engelhardt, H., Kögel, T., & Prskawetz, A. (2001). Fertility and employment reconsidered. A time series macro-level analysis. Rostock: Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.Google Scholar
  38. Engelhardt, H., & Prskawetz, A. (2004). On the changing correlation between fertility and female employment over space and time. European Journal of Population, 20, 35–62.Google Scholar
  39. Ermisch, J. (1999). Prices, parents, and young people’s household formation. Journal of Urban Economics, 45(1), 47–71.Google Scholar
  40. Esping-Andersen, G. (2009). The incomplete revolution. Adapting to women’s new roles. Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  41. Eurostat. (2012). Population data. Downloaded from: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/portal/page/portal/statistics/search_database.
  42. Ferge, Z. (1997). Women and social transformation in Central-Eastern Europe. Czech Sociological Review, 5(2), 159–178.Google Scholar
  43. Fodor, E. (2005). Women at work. Hungary and Poland. United Nations Research Institute for Social Development: The status of women in the labour markets of the Czech Republic. Occasional Paper 3.Google Scholar
  44. Frejka, T. (2008). Determinants of family formation and childbearing during the societal transition in Central and Eastern Europe. Demographic Research, 19(7), 139–170.Google Scholar
  45. Frejka, T., & Sardon, J. P. (2007). Cohort birth order, parity progression ratio and parity distribution trends in developed countries. Demographic Research, 16, 315–374.Google Scholar
  46. Frejka, T., & Sobotka, T. (2008). Overview chapter 1: Fertility in Europe: Diverse, delayed and below replacement. Demographic Research, 19(3), 15–46.Google Scholar
  47. Gabrielli, G., & Hoem, J. M. (2010). Italy’s non-negligible cohabitational unions. European Journal of Population, 26(1), 33–46.Google Scholar
  48. Goldstein, H. (2003). Multilevel statistical models (3rd Edition ed.). London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  49. Goldstein, J. R., Sobotka, T., & Jasilioniene, A. (2009). The end of lowest-low fertility? Population and Development Review, 35(4), 663–700.Google Scholar
  50. Gustafsson, S. (2001). Optimal age at motherhood. Theoretical and empirical considerations on postponement of maternity in Europe. Journal of Population Economics, 14(2), 225–247.Google Scholar
  51. Gustafsson, S., & Kalwij, A. S. (2006). Education and postponement of maternity: Economic analysis for industrialized countries (Kluwer Academic Publishers, European Studies of Population, 15). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  52. Halman, L. (2001). The European values study. A third wave. Tilburg: EVS, WORC, Tilburg, University.Google Scholar
  53. Happel, S. K., Hill, J. K., & Low, S. A. (1984). An economic analysis of the timing of childbirth. Population Studies, 38(2), 299–311.Google Scholar
  54. Hotz, V. J., & Miller, R. A. (1988). An empirical analysis of life cycle fertility and female labor supply. Econometrica, 56(1), 91–118.Google Scholar
  55. Hox, J. J. (1995). Applied multilevel analysis. Amsterdam: TT-Publikaties.Google Scholar
  56. Hox, J. J. (2002). Multilevel analysis. Techniques and applications. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  57. Human Fertility Database. (2013). Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Germany) and Vienna Institute of Demography (Austria). www.humanfertility.org (data downloaded on March 16, 2013).
  58. Inglehart, R. (1977). The silent revolution: Changing values and political styles among western publics. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Istat. (2003). Indagine multiscopo su famiglie e soggetti sociali (Family and social subjects). Rome.Google Scholar
  60. Joshi, H. (2002). Production, reproduction and education: Women, children and work in a British perspective. Population and Development Review, 28, 445–474.Google Scholar
  61. Kapitány, B. (2003). Turning points of the life course. Sampling, reliability of the raw data, http://www.demografia.hu/letoltes/dpa/panel1_minta_a.pdf. Accessed March 19, 2012.
  62. Kerckhoff, A. C. (1995). Institutional arrangements and stratification processes in industrial societies. Annual Review of Sociology, 15, 323–347.Google Scholar
  63. Klijzing, E. (2005). Globalization and the early life course. In H.-P. Blossfeld, E. Klijzing, M. Mills, & K. Kurz (Eds.), Globalization, uncertainty and youth in society (pp. 25–49). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  64. Kögel, T. (2004). Did the association between fertility and female employment within OECD countries really change its sign? Journal of Population Economics, 17(1), 45–65.Google Scholar
  65. Kohler, H. P., Billari, F. C., & Ortega, J. A. (2002). The emergence of lowest- low fertility in Europe during the 1990s. Population and Development Review, 28(4), 641–681.Google Scholar
  66. Kravdal, Ø. (1992). The emergence of a positive relation between education and third birth rates in Norway with supportive evidence from the United States. Population Studies, 46(3), 459–475.Google Scholar
  67. Kreyenfeld, M. (2010). Uncertainties in female employment careers and the postponement of parenthood in Germany. European Sociological Review, 26(3), 351–366.Google Scholar
  68. Kulu, H. (2011). Why do fertility levels vary between urban and rural areas? Regional Studies, 47(6), 895–912.Google Scholar
  69. Kulu, H., & Boyle, P. J. (2009). High fertility in city suburbs: Compositional or contextual effects? European Journal of Population, 25(2), 157–174.Google Scholar
  70. Lesthaeghe, R., & Moors, G. (2000). Recent trends in fertility and household formation in the industrialized world. Review of Population and Social Policy, 9, 121–170.Google Scholar
  71. Lesthaeghe, R., & Surkyn, J. (1988). Cultural dynamics and economic theories of fertility change. Population and Development Review, 14(1), 1–45.Google Scholar
  72. Macunovich, D. J. (1996). Relative income and price of time: Exploring their effects on US fertility and female labor force participation. Population and Development Review, 22, 223–257.Google Scholar
  73. Marini, M. M., & Hodsdon, P. J. (1981). Effects of the timing of marriage and first birth of the spacing of subsequent births. Demography, 18(4), 29–48.Google Scholar
  74. Martin, S. P. (2000). Diverging fertility among U.S. women who delay childbearing past age 30. Demography, 37, 523–533.Google Scholar
  75. Matysiak, A. (2011). Interdependencies between fertility and women’s labour supply. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  76. Matysiak, A., & Vignoli, D. (2009). Finding the ‘right moment’ for the first baby to come: A comparison between Italy and Poland. MPIDR, Working paper WP 2009.011 of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.Google Scholar
  77. McDonald, P. (2000). Gender equity in theories of fertility transition. Population and Development Review, 26(3), 427–439.Google Scholar
  78. Miller, A. R. (2010). The effect of motherhood timing on career path. Journal of Population Economics, 24(3), 1071–1100.Google Scholar
  79. Mills, M., & Blossfeld, H. P. (2005). Globalization, uncertainty and changes in early life courses. In H.-P. Blossfeld, E. Klijzing, M. Mills, & K. Kurz (Eds.), Globalization, uncertainty and youth in society (pp. 1–24). London/New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  80. Morgan, S. P., Ronald, R., & Rindfuss, R. R. (1999). Reexamining the link of early childbearing to marriage and to subsequent fertility. Demography, 36, 59–75.Google Scholar
  81. Müller, W. (2005). Education and youth integration into European labour markets. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 46, 461–485.Google Scholar
  82. Murphy, M., & Wang, D. (2001). Family-level continuities in childbearing in low-fertility societies. European Journal of Population, 17, 75–96.Google Scholar
  83. Ongaro, F. (2002). Low fertility in Italy between explanatory factors and social and economic implications: Consequences for the research. In Proceedings XLI Riunione Scientifica della SIS (Sessioni plenarie e specializzate). Padua: Cleup.Google Scholar
  84. Oppenheimer, V. K. (1988). A theory of marriage timing. The American Journal of Sociology, 94(3), 563–591.Google Scholar
  85. Oppenheimer, V. K. (1994). Women’s rising employment and the future of the family in industrial societies. Population and Development Review, 20(2), 293–342.Google Scholar
  86. Oppenheimer, V. K. (2003). A gender perspective on preferences for marriage among cohabiting couples. Demographic Research, 15, 311–328.Google Scholar
  87. Oppenheimer, V. K., Kalmijn, M., & Lim, N. (1997). Men’s career development and marriage timing during a period of rising inequality. Demography, 34, 311–330.Google Scholar
  88. Organisation for Economic Co-operation, Development (OECD). (2012). OECD family database. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  89. Pinnelli, A., & Di Giulio, P. (1999). Sistema di genere, famiglia e fecondità nei paesi sviluppati. In P. De Sandre, A. Pinnelli, & A. Santini (Eds.), Nuzialità e fecondità in trasformazione: Percorsi e fattori del cambiamento. Bologna: il Mulino.Google Scholar
  90. Rindfuss, R. R., & Brauner-Otto, S. R. (2008). Institutions and the transition to adulthood: Implications for fertility tempo in low-fertility settings. Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 6, 57–87.Google Scholar
  91. Rindfuss, R., Bumpass, L., & John, C. S. (1980). Education and fertility: Implications for the roles women occupy. American Sociological Review, 45, 431–447.Google Scholar
  92. Rindfuss, R. R., Guzzo, K. B., & Morgan, S. P. (2003). The changing institutional context of low fertility. Population Research and Policy Review, 22, 411–438.Google Scholar
  93. Rindfuss, R., & VandenHeuvel, A. (1990). Cohabitation: A precursor to marriage or an alternative to being single? Population and Development Review, 16, 703–726.Google Scholar
  94. Roberts, A. (2008). The influences of incident and contextual characteristics on crime clearance of nonlethal violence: A multilevel event history analysis. Journal of Criminal Justice, 36, 61–71.Google Scholar
  95. Rosina, A., & Fraboni, R. (2004). Is marriage losing its centrality in Italy? Demographic Research, 11(6), 149–172.Google Scholar
  96. Rosina, A., & Testa, M. R. (2007). Senza figli: Intenzioni e comportamenti italiani nel quadro europeo. Rivista di Studi Familiari, 12(1), 71–81.Google Scholar
  97. Santarelli, E. (2011). Economic resources and the first child in Italy: A focus on income and job stability. Demographic Research, 25(9), 311–336.Google Scholar
  98. Schultz, T. W. (1974). The high value of human time: Population equilibrium. Journal of Political Economy, 82(2), S2–S10.Google Scholar
  99. Singer, J. D., & Willett, J. B. (1993). It’s about time: Using discrete-time survival analysis to study duration and the timing of events. Journal of Educational Statistics, 18, 155–195.Google Scholar
  100. Singer, J. D., & Willett, J. B. (2003). Applied longitudinal data analysis: Modelling change and event occurrence. Oxford: University Press.Google Scholar
  101. Sobotka, T. (2003). Re-emerging diversity: Rapid fertility changes in Central and Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Communist Regimes. Population, 58(4–5), 451–485.Google Scholar
  102. Sobotka, T. (2004). Postponement of childbearing and low fertility in Europe. Doctoral thesis, University of Groningen. Amsterdam: Dutch University Press.Google Scholar
  103. Sobotka, T., Zeman, K., & Kantorová, V. (2003). Demographic shifts in the Czech Republic after 1989: A second demographic transition view. European Journal of Population, 19(3), 249–277.Google Scholar
  104. Spéder, Z. (2001). Turning points of the life course. Concept and design of the Hungarian social and demographic panel survey. Demográfia, 44(2–3), 305–320. (English Edition).Google Scholar
  105. Spéder, Z. (2005). The rise of cohabitation as first union and some neglected factors of recent demographic developments in Hungary. Demográfia, 48, 77–103. (English Edition).Google Scholar
  106. Spéder, Z. (2006). Rudiments of recent fertility decline in Hungary: Postponement, educational differences, and outcomes of changing partnership forms. Demographic Research, Descriptive Finding, 15(8), 253–288.Google Scholar
  107. Spéder, Z., & Kamaràs, F. (2008). Hungary: Secular fertility decline with distinct period fluctuations. Demographic Research, 19(18), 599–664.Google Scholar
  108. Steele, F. (2008). Multilevel models for longitudinal data. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A (Statistics in Society), 171, 5–19.Google Scholar
  109. Surkyn, G., & Lesthaeghe, R. (2004). Value orientations and the second demographic transition in northern, western and southern Europe: An update. Demographic Research, 3(3), 45–86.Google Scholar
  110. Svejnar, J. (2002). Transition economies: Performance and challenges. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(1), 3–28.Google Scholar
  111. Sweeney, M. M. (2002). Two decades of family change: The shifting economic foundations of marriage. American Sociological Review, 67(1), 132–147.Google Scholar
  112. Taniguchi, H. (1999). The timing of childbearing and women’s wages. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 61(4), 1008–1019.Google Scholar
  113. Teachman, J., & Crowder, K. (2002). Multilevel models in family research: Some conceptual and methodological issues. Journal of Marriage and Family, 64(2), 280–294.Google Scholar
  114. UNECE. (1998). National report of Hungary, The regional population meeting, Budapest (Hungary), December 7–9, 1998.Google Scholar
  115. Van Bavel, J. (2010). Choice of study discipline and the postponement of motherhood in Europe: The impact of expected earnings, gender composition and family attitudes. Demography, 47, 439–458.Google Scholar
  116. van De Kaa, D. J. (1987). Europe’s second demographic transition. Population Bulletin, 42(1), 1–59.Google Scholar
  117. Vignoli, D. (2008). Work and fertility. Employment and reproductive careers among Italian couples. Doctoral thesis. Rome: La Sapienza University.Google Scholar
  118. Vignoli, D., Drefahl, S., & De Santis, G. (2012). Whose job instability affects the likelihood of becoming a parent in Italy? A tale of two partners. Demographic Research, 26(2), 41–62.Google Scholar
  119. Vignoli, D., & Ferro, I. (2009). Rising marital disruption in Italy and its correlates. Demographic Research, 20(4), 11–36.Google Scholar
  120. Voydanoff, P. (1988). Work role characteristics, family structure demands, and work/family conflict. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 50, 749–761.Google Scholar
  121. Wallace, C. (Ed.) (2003). Country contextual reports—Demographic trends, labour market and social policies. HWF Research Report 2, Vienna: Institute for Advanced Studies.Google Scholar
  122. Willett, J. B., & Singer, J. D. (1995). It’s deja vu all over again: Using multiple-spell discrete-time survival analysis. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 20(1), 41–67.Google Scholar
  123. Willis, R. J. (1973). A new approach to the economic theory of fertility behavior. Journal of Political Economy, 81(2), S14–S64.Google Scholar
  124. Windzio, M. (2006). The problem of time dependent explanatory variables at the contest-level in discrete time multilevel event history analysis: A Comparison of models considering mobility between local labour markets as an example. Quality & Quantity, 40, 175–185.Google Scholar
  125. Wolbers, M. H. J. (2007). Employment insecurity at labour market entry and its impact on parental home leaving and family formation. A comparative study among recent graduates in eight European countries. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 48(6), 481–507.Google Scholar
  126. Yamaguchi, K. (1991). Event history analysis. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  127. Zimmer, B. G., & Fulton, J. (1980). Size of family, life chances, and reproductive behaviour. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 42, 657–670.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics, Business and StatisticsUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

Personalised recommendations