Explaining Very Low Fertility in Italy

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Director: David Kertzer
Collaborator: Michael J. White
Research Theme: Development, Institutions and Demographic Change
Location: Italian Republic
Funding: NICHD, NSF

Kertzer and White employed innovative multidisciplinary methodology and cutting-edge theory to seek a better explanation for very low fertility. They focused on Italy, a country that in the 1990s had the lowest fertility in the world, and which today has among the very lowest. Their findings support the views that both women’s employment and a transition towards secular values explains significant fertility variation at the individual level in Italy; however, there remains substantial evidence of the kind of regional grouping in fertility that is often attributed to ideational change.