The inclusion of Italy and Spain within the same label of "familistic systems" has proved to be theoretically and empirically relevant to understand the individuals' demographic and reproductive behaviour in each country. However, the academic literature has mostly treated Italy and Spain as familistic in a very static way. Both countries have gone through deep-running changes regarding the family, women and the reproductive and employment decisions over their life course although the change has pershaps been more profound in Spain (in part due to different views and behaviours concerning the role of women that facilitate more rapid and divergent advancements towards gender equality and varied family forms in Spain). However, the so-called reorientation in Spain and inertia in Italy have had different levels of intensity and outcomes, the greatest being in attitudes, less so although still substantive in policy and the smallest in behaviours. However, the recession since 2007 may have obstructed further developments and pushed Spain a step back towards certain converging patterns again, at least in the two latter spheres: policy and behaviour.


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