IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Fear of the future: exploring a novel determinant of fertility transitions

03 March 2021, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Couple holding baby boots together. Image: Eric Montanah via Pexels

In this webinar, invited speakers present findings from a joint paper that examines the impact of a generalised ‘fear of the future’ on fertility behaviour among a contemporary cohort of adults.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Jenny Chanfreau

Existing literature has suggested that contemporary adults highlight factors such as economic uncertainty, global warming and increasing inequality to explain their intentions to forego parenthood. Yet, the extent to which these fears impact actual fertility, remains unclear.

In this paper, Nicoletta Balbo (Bocconi University) and Katya Ivanova (Tilburg University) aim to examine the impact of a generalised ‘fear of the future’ on fertility behaviour, while uncovering which dimensions of such fear matter the most.  

Using the Dutch Longitudinal Internet studies for the Social Sciences (LISS) data, they engage in a series of discrete-time event history models with recurrent events estimating the probability of having a(nother) child. 

Results show that anxieties about the future are linked to lower probability of experiencing fertility transitions, and such fears seem to be mostly related to concerns about next generation’s future. Moreover, the researchers show that fear of the future is most strongly driven by work and financial considerations.

QSS seminar series

In this weekly Quantitative Social Science (QSS) seminar series, speakers present research that falls under the broad umbrella of quantitative social science.


Image: Eric Montanah via Pexels

About the Speaker

Dr Nicoletta Balbo

Assistant Professor of Sociology at the Social and Political Sciences Department - Bocconi University

Nicoletta is also a Research Fellow at the DONDENA Centre for Research on Social Dynamics and Public Policy.

Her research interests focus on sociology of the family, life course, and fertility decision-making. Her research has looked at how peer effect and personal networks influence an individual’s fertility choices in advanced societies.

She is also interested in the relationship between life course transitions and subjective well-being and recently her research has also focused on health and health behaviors, especially among young people. 

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