Natives and Migrants’ Childbearing during the Great Recession. A Comparison between Italy and Sweden

Abstract: This study contributes to the empirical research on the fertility decline registered in many European countries in the aftermath of the Great Recession adopting a comparative perspective. More specifically, the paper explores childbearing behavior during the crisis across three dimensions of socioeconomic vulnerability: migration background, labor market uncertainty and country context. We compare childbearing behavior among native and migrant women with different recent occupational histories in two countries: Sweden and Italy. Using the most recent available data, respectively the Swedish population registers and the Italian Labor Force Survey, we investigate the change in the probability of having a(nother) child between the pre-crisis (2007-09) and the crisis period (2010-12). Results suggest that, during the initial phase of the Great Recession, the probability of having a child decreases for migrants with unstable careers or low skilled occupations more than for natives. However, relevant differences between the two countries in the latter associations emerge.