Fertility and Values: A Look at Regional Differences within the European Context

Bruno Arpino, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Lara Tavares, Università Bocconi

Using data from the Eurostat Database and European Value Surveys we assess if recent fertility trends in Europe are associated with a change in values. A special emphasis is given to Spain and Italy that, together with the other Southern European countries, are often seen as a homogeneous group sharing the same ‘traditional’ values. We show that Italy and Spain are not that similar and that similarities at the country level with respect to TFR hide considerable variation at the regional level. We argue that an analysis at the regional level is crucial to better understand changes in fertility levels. We provide evidence that recent fertility trends are associated with value dynamics. We also provide empirical evidence in support of McDonald’s theory that both gender equity at the institutional level and within the family are necessary for fertility to rise.

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Presented in Session 185: Social Change and Fertility