Micro-Level Determinants of Childlessness in Italy: A SEM Approach
Annalisa Donno, Università di Padova
Maria-Letizia Tanturri, Università di Padova
A comprehensive theory on childlessness is not well-developed yet. Several determinants, often inter-related, have been proposed in the literature, so that their relative impact is not easily identifiable and quantifiable. The current Italian demographic context - characterized by low fertility, postponed childbearing and increasing childlessness among generations - is an interesting context to study the phenomenon, using retrospective data from 2008 Multipurpose Survey. The aim of this paper is to find micro-level determinants of childlessness in Italy, by analyzing changes in childlessness patterns over cohort, and by gender, for giving a contribution in the research on childlessness determinants also among men. A Structural Equation Models (SEM) approach is used, to specify and assess causality networks among different childlessness-related aspects and childlessness itself. SEM techniques allow, through a dynamic approach, to understand whether and to what extent each dimension and each hypothesized causal link contribute in determining the phenomenon under study.