Marriage market and homogamy in Italy: an event history approach
303 pages. Rome, University of Rome (2000)
This work studies first marriage in Italy, its trend over the years 1969-1995 by gender, its link to the marriage market conditions and the dynamics of homogamy by age, place of origin and education.
According to the Schoen´s index of the marriage squeeze, it emerges an imbalance on the Italian marriage market that stems from significant variations in the number of births as well as from differential emigration by sex.
The first aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of macro variables regarding the availability of eligible partners in shaping the process of transition to first marriage at individual level in an integrated micro-macro perspective. Findings of event-history models show that structural constraints in the marriage market affect the timing of the transition to first marriage, and this holds differently for men and women.
As a second step also ‘qualitative’ issues of the transition to first marriage are studied: the aim is to analyse the features of who marries whom. It emerges that, in addition to the traditional patterns of homogamy, some new features in the process of assortative mating are rising in Italy. More age-balanced couples are the natural outcome of a reduced gender division and a higher equalisation of roles in the couple. The diminishing role of the place of origin in assortative mating is also found as expected from increased mobility. Moreover, the level of attained education plays a different gender role showing higher disadvantage for more educated women.
Keywords: Italy, marriage