AbstractBACKGROUNDThe vast majority of demographic studies have approached and operationalised thenotion of economic uncertainty using snapshot indicators. Hence, the complexity anddiversity of individuals’ employment careers were largely hidden. In this paper, weposit that persistence of joblessness – that is, repeated and close spells of joblessness –represents a crucial marker of economic fragility in the realm of fertility (intention)research.OBJECTIVEWe aim to explore the association between persistent joblessness of both the membersof the couple among those who entered employment at least once in the last five yearsand women’s fertility intentions.METHODSWe develop an index of persistent joblessness that simultaneously considers individualand contextual labour market conditions. Particularly it accounts for the severity of theexperience of joblessness, the chances that an individual will escape joblessness, thealleviating effects of the years spent in continuous employment, and the recentness ofany joblessness experience. This index is operationalized for Italy by consulting the2009 Family and Social Subjects Survey. We verify the association between the indexand women’s fertility intentions among Italian couples, net of a series of confounders.RESULTSOur findings show that the higher the level of persistent joblessness, the lower awoman’s fertility intentions. Within couples, we found a gendered association betweenjoblessness and fertility intentions: His joblessness, more than hers, seems to play thedecisive role in inhibiting a woman’s fertility intentions. CONTRIBUTIONWe corroborated that joblessness inhibits positive fertility intentions and facilitatesnegative fertility intentions. But we also added that these associations are much morepronounced when joblessness has been persistent. Disregarding the role of persistencein joblessness, scholars might underestimate the importance of individual-risk factorslinked to labour market biographies in fertility planning. We additionally illustrated thataccounting for regional labour market dynamics, thus placing one’s own level ofpersistence in joblessness in context, is pivotal.
|Number of pages||34|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|
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