Intergenerational transmission of fertility in six European countries: the role of mother’s socio-economic status

Valeria Bordone, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Maria Rita Testa, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)
Beata Osiewalska, Cracow University of Economics and Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Vegard Skirbekk, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

Using data from the Generation and Gender Survey on six European countries we study fertility intentions of women in reproductive ages by their mother’s employment status when they were 15 years old. We expect mother’s working experiences during childhood to be an important determinant of fertility intentions: especially for women in countries where female labour force participation is low, such as Italy, these women may better anticipate the conflict between work and family life than their counterparts whose mother was at home. The results point to a decisive role of mother’s education in daughter’s reproductive decision-making. The non significant experience of a working mother in explaining fertility intentions of the daughter can be due to the high level of correlation between mother educational level and employment status. Hence, in the further steps, we will investigate on disentangling these two effects. These preliminary findings suggest that the influence of mother’s socio-economic status on daughters’ fertility decision-making is particularly strong in Italy as compared to the other European countries considered.

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Presented in Session 48: Intergenerational transmissions of fertility behaviour