How Do Demographic Changes Affect the Quality of Life? The Experience of Italy and France

Lucia Coppola, Instituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT)
Stefano Mazzuco, Università di Padova
Francesca Michielin, Università Bocconi

During the last decades, many demographic events marking adult roles, have been postponed. Irreversible choices have been substituted by reversible ones, i.e. marriage by non marital cohabitation. Studying transition to adulthood, demographers have investigated the causes of such changes, but little has been said about their consequences. In this paper, we investigate the role of first marriage and first parenthood as cause of a potential change in the subjective perception of the quality of life, with respect to satisfaction with the financial situation and with the amount of leisure time. We use the ECHP data to compare the effects of two different family formation patterns: the Italian, where marriage is experienced simultaneously to leaving parental home, and the French, where changes are lived in a fuzzy way (i.e cohabitation usually anticipates marriage). To control for the potential endogeneity between the events and their outcomes, we use the propensity score matching.

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Presented in Session 136: International Perspectives on the Effects of Family Structure