Quotation Testa, Maria Rita, Cavalli, Laura., Rosina, Alessandro. 2011. Couple’s childbearing behavior in Italy: Which of the partners is leading it? . Vienna Yearbook of Population Research 9 S. 157-178.




Using data on 2356 Italian couples from the longitudinal survey on Family and Social Subjects conducted between 2003 and 2007, we examine the relationship between child-timing intentions and subsequent reproductive outcomes. Our hypothesis is that in Italy the lack of agreement between partners has an inhibiting effect on couple’s pregnancy-seeking behaviour because inertia and social norms favour the partner who does not want to have a(nother) child. We find that this holds true only for couples who have already two or more children whereas at lower parities conflicting intentions result in either a middle fertility outcome or childbearing levels similar to those observed for couples who agree on having a child. Women have a greater influence on childbearing decisions than men. The explicit consideration of a partner’s disagreement increases the predictive accuracy of fertility intentions. Our findings strongly support the adoption of a couple-oriented approach in fertility research.


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Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Vienna Yearbook of Population Research
Language English
Title Couple’s childbearing behavior in Italy: Which of the partners is leading it?
Volume 9
Year 2011
Page from 157
Page to 178
Reviewed? Y
URL http://epub.oeaw.ac.at/0xc1aa500d_0x002a70fa
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1553/populationyearbook2011s1


Testa, Maria Rita (Former researcher)
Cavalli, Laura. (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
Rosina, Alessandro. (Catholic University of Milan, Italy)
Demography Group AB (Details)
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