Donne in Europa tra lavoro e famiglia [Women in Europe Between Work and Family]

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

December 1, 2006


The decline in fertility rates and the growth of female participation in the labour market, observed in most countries in the last 30 years, are considered two important issues both from a demographic and economic point of view. On the one hand, the larger number of workers contributes to the sustainability of current pensions; on the other hand, the decline of the population threatens the pension system in the future. In this paper, we study joint decisions of women to work and to have children. For the empirical analysis, we use data from the European Community Household Panel (1995-2000). Empirical results show that, besides individual characteristics, the socio economic environment is important too. In regions where the availability of childcare is higher, women are more likely to work. The presence of grandparents in the household has a positive effect on working decisions too, showing that the extended family represents a substitute to formal child care, especially in Southern countries. The unemployment rate has a negative effect on both decisions while self employment, particularly in small family enterprises, supports female participation, solving the problem of reconciling work and childcare again in the family.

Published in

Economia e Lavoro

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 40 , p.89 -105




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