Recent studies have shown higher uncertainty to be associated with fertility decline. This study considers the role of social trust as a coping mechanism when general uncertainty increases. We analyse the fertility data of Italian provinces from 2004 to 2013, thereby incorporating the period of economic recession, which unexpectedly and exogenously increased uncertainty across the population. We find a robust and significantly positive impact of social trust on fertility, which is stronger among younger age groups. Moreover, we find that the buffer effect of trust decreases with the level of public childcare provision, suggesting that low trust endowments may be counterbalanced through public policy.
- ECONOMIC RECESSION
- SOCIAL TRUST