Employment conditions and non-coresidential partnership in very-low fertility countries: Italy and Japan





Non-coresidential partner, Employment conditions, Italy, Japan


Objective: Our study analyses the relationship between employment conditions and non-coresidential partnership status among women and men in two very-low fertility countries: Italy and Japan.

Background: Having a partner is the initial stage of any subsequent family formation. Several studies have reported that precarious employment conditions have negative effects on both union formation and fertility; however, less is known about the previous step, namely, having a non-coresidential partner.

Method: We use two nationally representative surveys and examine the association between employment condition and partnership status among individuals aged 23–43 who have not yet had children and are not currently cohabiting or married at the survey, employing logistic regression models.

Results: Our results suggest that employment conditions do not have statistically significant associations with partnership status except women who have a precarious employment status (i.e. those who do not know their contract type) as well as unemployed/inactive women in Japan and self-employed men in Italy. We interpret our findings as suggesting that in Italy, employment conditions do not significantly matter for starting a relationship for both men and women, likely due to the prevalence of employment uncertainty among young Italians. As for Japanese women, those who are unemployed/inactive, as well as those who do not know their contract type, may face challenges in finding a partner with their desired earning capacity.

Conclusion: This is one of the few studies focusing on non-coresidential partnership as the initial step of further family formation.


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How to Cite

Mogi, R., Mugiyama, R., & Alderotti, G. (2024). Employment conditions and non-coresidential partnership in very-low fertility countries: Italy and Japan. Journal of Family Research, 36, 160–177. https://doi.org/10.20377/jfr-953