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Persistent Employment Instability and Fertility Intentions in Italy


Our paper adds to the growing literature on the measurement of employment instability and on that on its consequences on fertility dynamics. We argue that many of these studies disregard a crucial dimension of employment instability: its persistence (duration). It is the persistence in an unstable condition, more than the status itself, that may have the most severe consequences on subsequent family choices. In this paper, we propose an index of persistence in employment instability that synthesizes all the information inside the individual sequence of employment statuses in a single number accounting simultaneously for the duration, sequencing, intensity, and labour market circumstances. Then, we test its impact on short-term childbearing intentions, and we do this separately for women and for men as well as for different parities. The application focuses on the Italian case.