A qualitative analysis of the role of paid and unpaid jobs in a lowest low fertility context: The puzzling intention for a second child

Working paper n°: 47

Author(s): Laura Cavalli

Year: 2011

Over recent decades the family formation process radically changed in Europe. Even though similar trends have been observed across the continent there are still important differences between countries. Using the theoretical approach and conceptual definitions given by Ajzen's (1991) theory of planned behavior without applying its empirical model, the main focus of the present paper is on the way in which paid job and unpaid work and women's attitudes towards them influence the decision to have a second child. The study uses a qualitative approach, by means of the investigation of in-depth interviews with 27 women in reproductive ages in Cagliari, one of the lowest-low fertility contexts in Italy, itself a lowestlow fertility country. Mothers were divided into six different groups on the basis of their intentions to have a second child. The results demonstrate that the theoretical framework is able to highlight substantial differences in attitudes and perceived behavioural controls among the women with different intentions for childbearing.

Laura Cavalli

Universita Bocconi and Universita degli Studi di Verona, Department of Economic Sciences



Keywords: fertility intentions, second birth, paid work, unpaid jobs, theory of planned behavior, qualitative research methods


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Last updated 14 July 2015 - 14:35:47