Balancing Work and Family in Italy: New Mothers' Employment Decisions after Childbirth

34 Pages Posted: 28 Oct 2008  

Piero Casadio

Bank of Italy

Martina Lo Conte

National Institute of Statistics (Istat)

Andrea Neri

Bank of Italy

Date Written: September 8, 2008

Abstract

Compared with other European countries, the Italian labour market stands out for the low level of both female participation and fertility. In this paper we focus on the employment patterns of Italian mothers around the time of childbirth. Our hypothesis is that the difficulties involved in reconciling work and family when there are children are among the leading causes of the low female employment rate in Italy. Data from the 2002 Italian Birth Sample Survey show that about 20 per cent of mothers who were working before childbirth, stop working one and a half years after delivery and that about 14 per cent voluntarily decide to resign. The paper analyses the factors that most influence new mothers' unemployment risk after childbirth.

Keywords: female employment, childbirth, childcare

JEL Classification: C2, E24, J13, J22, J23

Suggested Citation

Casadio, Piero and Lo Conte, Martina and Neri, Andrea, Balancing Work and Family in Italy: New Mothers' Employment Decisions after Childbirth (September 8, 2008). Bank of Italy Temi di Discussione (Working Paper) No. 684. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1290517 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1290517

Piero Casadio (Contact Author)

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

Martina Lo Conte

National Institute of Statistics (Istat) ( email )

Via Cesare Balbo 16
00184 Rome, 0185
Italy

Andrea Neri

Bank of Italy ( email )

Via Nazionale 91
00184 Roma
Italy

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