What Explains Fertility? Evidence from Italian Pension Reforms

48 Pages Posted: 19 May 2009

See all articles by Francesco C. Billari

Francesco C. Billari

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management

Vincenzo Galasso

University of Lugano; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2009

Abstract

Why do people have kids in developed societies? We propose an empirical test of two alternative theories - children as 'consumption' vs. 'investment' good. We use as a natural experiment the Italian pension reforms of the 90s that introduced a clear discontinuity in the treatment across workers. This policy experiment is particularly well suited, since the 'consumption' motive predicts lower future pensions to reduce fertility, while the 'old-age security' to increase it. Our empirical analysis identifies a clear and robust positive effect of less generous future pensions on post-reform fertility. These findings are consistent with 'old-age security' even for contemporary fertility.

Keywords: old-age security, public pension systems, fertility, altruism

JEL Classification: H55, J13, D64

Suggested Citation

Billari, Francesco C. and Galasso, Vincenzo, What Explains Fertility? Evidence from Italian Pension Reforms (May 2009). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 2646, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1406946

Francesco C. Billari

Bocconi University - Department of Policy Analysis and Public Management ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, 20136
Italy

Vincenzo Galasso (Contact Author)

University of Lugano ( email )

Via Giuseppe Buffi 13
Lugano, TN 6900
Switzerland

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
183
Abstract Views
2,307
rank
180,147
PlumX Metrics