Social Class, Income and Fertility. A European Cross-Country Comparison

Teodora Maksimovic , Università Bocconi
Marco Albertini, Università di Bologna
Letizia Mencarini, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy
Giorgio Piccitto, Bocconi University

The literature studying the association between acquired individual characteristics like social class and income and below replacement fertility behaviour appears to be generally undertheorized, and the results are quite mixed (Skirbekk 2008; Bar et al. 2018). Furthermore, it is missing in literature a systematic attempt to combine these two streams of research and approaching them from a European cross-country perspective. By using data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC), which for a large number of countries combine a cross-sectional and a longitudinal component, we aim at filling this gap in the literature. Hence, we first explore the association between social classes and fertility behaviour and the extent to which this association is moderated by income. Secondly, we consider how this association varies among different European countries and if the crisis has affected its pattern. Preliminary results seem to confirm that social class matters in driving fertility behaviours, and that income plays a significant moderation role in this association. Also, the emerged findings trigger some speculations about the extent to which the crisis has hint the different European countries and how the social classes reacted to it.

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 Presented in Session 122. Social Inequality and Fertility