Roadblocks on the Road to Grandma's House: Fertility Consequences of Delayed Retirement

48 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2014

See all articles by Erich Battistin

Erich Battistin

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Michele De Nadai

University of Padova

Mario Padula

University "Ca' Foscari" of Venice; CSEF


This paper investigates the role of childcare provided by grandparents for the fertility decisions of their offspring. We exploit a decade of pension reforms in Italy that mandated the grandparental generation to a working horizon longer than they would have had otherwise. We argue that the rise in retirement age meant a negative shock to the supply of informal childcare for the next generation.Our results show that one additional grandparent available in the early child-bearing years increases by about five percent the number of children. We show that the fertility effects of delayed retirement are limited to close-knits with a strong familistic structure. The result is not just the mechanical consequence of delayed exit from parental home, of more investment in education or of more attachment to the labour market. In light of the Italian lowest low fertility we conclude that pension reforms may have had unintended inter-generational effects. This conclusion is consistent with the sharp drop in total fertility documented by official statistics for the most conservative areas of the country.

Keywords: fertility, informal child care, pension reforms

JEL Classification: J08, J13, H42

Suggested Citation

Battistin, Erich and De Nadai, Michele and Padula, Mario, Roadblocks on the Road to Grandma's House: Fertility Consequences of Delayed Retirement. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8071, Available at SSRN:

Erich Battistin (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Michele De Nadai

University of Padova ( email )

Mario Padula

University "Ca' Foscari" of Venice ( email )

Dorsoduro 3246
Venice, Veneto 30123
+390412349181 (Phone)
+390412349176 (Fax)


Via Don Melillo I
Fisciano, Salerno, 84084

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