The Marriage Market and Homogamy by Age in Italy
Romina Fraboni, Instituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT)
The wedding represents the outcome of a long or short process of bargaining and exchange which takes place on the marriage market. Several studies highlighted the tendency to marry partners who share the same dimension. This paper focused on the role of age in the partner choice in Italy. The Author has analyzed the trend of the marriage market in Italy from the late 1960s to date and, by means of a micro-macro link, has studied its effects on the competing risk of women and men of marrying partners in specified age brackets. The data from the Multipurpose Households Survey (1998) have shown that although the traditional pattern (man older than woman) is the prevailing typology of marriage, a more age-homogamous model of assortative mating is progressively becoming common, especially in Northern Italian regions, and its large-scale spreading can lead to a greater gender leveling.