Having Children in Europe: The Role of Social Capital

  •  Alessandra De Rose    
  •  Giuseppina Guagnano    


We explore the role of social capital in explaining reproductive behaviour and its differences among the European countries. We adopt a comprehensive concept of social capital that combines several elementary indicators and estimate its impact on the probability of having a first or a further child among reproductive-age women currently in a partnership union. We cluster countries in four groups and discuss the results in terms of different welfare state regimes. Data come from the 2014 EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey (N=15,735) which we analysed through a generalized ordered logit model. Our findings support the hypothesis that women who can count on higher level of social capital show higher chance to give birth to a baby and this holds both for each country group and for Europe as a whole. By showing the importance of operationalize a complex and multivariate definition of social capital we contributed to the debate about its relationship with individual reproductive behaviour.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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