Economic Uncertainty and Fertility in Europe

Principal Investigator:
Prof. Daniele Vignoli

Host Institution:
Dept. Statistics, Informatics, Applications (DiSIA) – University of Florence

Project duration:
September 2017 – August 2023

1.689.272 EUR

The EU-FER project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement n° DLV-725961


To generate new knowledge on if, how, and under what circumstances economic uncertainty matters for fertility in contemporary Europe, adopting a cross-country comparative approach

Three pillars

(1) to systematize the current empirical evidence on the impact of economic uncertainty on fertility. This objective will be met by performing a meta-analysis (a quantitative literature review) of existing European research findings

(2) to assess how people make fertility plans under uncertain economic circumstances, recognizing their heterogeneity in perceiving and tolerating uncertainty. To this end, we will run controlled laboratory experimentation in selected, different settings in Europe

(3) to establish the impact of economic uncertainty on fertility from the life course perspective. To reach this objective, we will perform micro-level longitudinal research using appropriate data and methods to attenuate, if not altogether eliminate, the bias due to selection and endogeneity


New theoretical and empirical insights about how economic uncertainty affects fertility derived from both observationally and experimentally based evidence

To set the stage for a new development in family demography by demonstrating the potential of a laboratory experimentation study

Linked Projects

Narratives: The Influence of the Future in Family Life Courses

Uncertain “Corona-Times”: Family, Fertility, and the Covid-19 Pandemic