The educational gradient in matrimonial property regime among Italian and foreign spouses

Romina Fraboni, Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT)
Agnese Vitali, University of Southampton

The paper studies the choice of matrimonial property regime (community vs. separation of assets) of spouses at marriage comparing Italian spouses, spouses in mixed marriages and marriages with both foreign spouses across educational categories and distinguishes the main countries of origins of the foreign spouses. We use data from the 2013 Italian marriage register which collects information on all marriages celebrated in Italy in a given year and use logistic regression to estimate the probability of a couple choosing to separate their resources on the basis of their educational composition and couple type (both Italians, mixed marriage, both foreigners) for first and second marriages. Preliminary results show the existence of an educational gradient in the choice of matrimonial property regime at marriage: as educational attainment increases, couples are more likely to opt for separating the assets that they will accumulate during marriage. This pattern is observed for both endogamous and exogamous marriages, while the opposite holds for marriages with both foreign spouses. Finally, we find that in endogamous marriages and marriages with an Italian bride, educationally hypogamic couples (i.e. couples where the bride is more educated than the groom) are more likely to choose the separation of property with respect to hypergamous couples (i.e. couples where the bride is less educated than the groom).

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Presented in Session 102: Marriage and repartnering