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An investigation of the relation between the number of children and education in Italy

Aldieri, Luigi and Vinci, Concetto Paolo (2010): An investigation of the relation between the number of children and education in Italy.

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Abstract

In this paper we have investigated the impact of the level of education on the number of children in Italy. We have selected 1,490 families from the 1997- 2005 Longitudinal Investigation on Italian Families (ILFI) dataset. Our dependent variable is represented by the number of children ever born to each respondent (and to his partner). Since the number of children ever born (CEB) is a count variable, we have implemented three empirical models: Poisson, Zero-Truncated Poisson and an Instrumental Variable Poisson, where grandparents’ education is exerted as an instrument of parents’ education. In particular, we have considered two stages for each model: in the first stage, we have estimated the impact of female’s education on her number of children, and in the second one, we have used also partner’s education to identify the previous effect. From the empirical results, we may observe a significant negative effect of the level of education on the number of children.

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