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On the determinants of marital instability in Italy by gender

Silvana Salvini, University of Florence
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence

Beside the traditional image that Italy shows in terms of family dynamics, over the last ten years data proved a progressive rise of separations and divorces. This paper aims at investigating the possible existence of trendsetters mainly responsible for the country’s recent marital dissolution diffusion. Data used stem from the 2003 “Families and Social Subjects” – Italian Gender Generation Survey. Event history techniques are employed. Period trends of women and men marital disruption risks are computed standardizing for quite a few covariates – whose effects are all in line with the literature. Our findings show that a strong women’s educational composition effect is into play during the ‘90s. This effect appears stronger than the men’s one. The positive educational gradient confirms that the changing status of women in society is linked to the possibility to dissolve an unhappy union. On the contrary, all men’s social strata appear quite similar in the process.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Poster Session 2: fertility, family and children