The Determinants of Childlessness among Men and Women in Later Adult Life in Italy: Do They Differ?
Maria-Letizia Tanturri, University of Padua
This paper investigates childlessness among men in later adult life in Italy, using data on a sub sample of 30-49 years old men (7,254) from the Multipurpose Italian survey, Family and Social Actors, carried out by the National Institute of Statistics in 2003. A weighted multinomial logit model is used to contrast “voluntary childless men” with the other categories: “un-voluntary childless” and fathers. The results will be compared with an analogous analysis carried out on childless women in the same age groups. Five groups of dependent variables have been considered: early life course characteristics; background characteristics, family formation variables; work related variables, attitudes and values. Results seem to corroborate the hypothesis that voluntary childlessness is a common behaviour among men and women, but its determinants partly differ, with particular regard to socio-economic status. Voluntary childlessness among men seems linked mainly to poor education, poor health and worse social status.