Are Foreign Women Competitive in the Marriage Market? Evidence from a New Immigration Country

Daniele Vignoli, Università di Firenze
Venturini Alessandra, Migration Policy Centre, EUI and Università degli Studi di Torino
Elena Pirani, Università di Firenze

Whereas empirical studies concentrating on individual-level determinants of marital disruption have a long tradition, the impact of contextual-level determinants is much less studied. In this paper we advance the hypothesis that the size (and the composition) of the presence of foreign women in a certain area affect the dissolution risk of established marriages. Using data from the 2009 survey Family and Social Subjects, we estimate a set of multilevel discrete-time event history models to study the de facto separation of Italian marriages. Aggregate-level indicators, referring to the level and composition of migration, are our main explanatory variables. We find that while foreign women are complementary to Italian women within the labor market, the increasing presence of first mover’s foreign women (especially coming from Latin America and some countries of Eastern Europe) is associated with elevated separation risks. These results proved to be robust to migration data stemming from different sources.

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Presented in Session 116: Family Instability