‘He wants, I don't’: females' contrasting attitude about fertility intentions for a second child

Laura Cavalli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Thanks to the use of household-level micro-data from the ‘Family and Social Subjects’ survey carried out by the Italian National Statistical Office in 2003, this paper aims at understanding the determinants of a woman’s contrasting attitude towards her partner’s positive intention for another child considering the bargaining process literature. The econometric analysis is based on sample selection models that allow the study of this issue considering the probability of recording a couple’s disagreement on higher-order fertility. The analysis finds that when within the couple the female partner is more educated, she disagrees less with her partner’s positive intention for a second child. If we deal with the job-related features, the probability that the female contrasts her partner’s positive fertility intention is higher when she is unemployed, when she is employed but she experiences a lack of provision of childcare, and if she perceives that another child might jeopardize her career. The findings are coherent with the assumption that a higher consistency between the individual’s and the couple’s fertility intentions may be achieved; the presence of a rigid labour-market and the lack of public child-care provision and of public policies should contribute to explaining the problems in reconciling family and working life.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-93
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • bargaining approach
  • fertility intentions
  • paid/unpaid work
  • probit model with sample selection
  • second child


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