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Italy: Delayed adaptation of social institutions to changes in family behaviour

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandra De Rose

    (Sapienza Università di Roma)

  • Filomena Racioppi

    (Sapienza Università di Roma)

  • Anna Laura Zanatta

    (Sapienza Università di Roma)

Abstract

Considering its very low fertility and high age at childbearing, Italy stands alone in the European context and can hardly be compared with other countries, even those in the Southern region. The fertility decline occurred without any radical change in family formation. Individuals still choose (religious) marriage for leaving their parental home and rates of marital dissolution and subsequent step-family formation are low. Marriage is being postponed and fewer people marry. The behaviours of young people are particularly alarming. There is a delay in all life cycle stages: end of education, entry into the labour market, exit from the parental family, entry into union, and managing an independent household. Changes in family formation and childbearing are constrained and slowed down by a substantial delay (or even failure) with which the institutional and cultural framework has adapted to changes in economic and social conditions, in particular to the growth of the service sector, the increase in female employment and the female level of education. In a Catholic country that has been led for almost half a century by a political party with a Catholic ideology, the paucity of attention to childhood and youth seems incomprehensible. Social policies focus on marriage-based families already formed and on the phases of life related to pregnancy, delivery, and the first months of a newborn’s life, while forming a family and childbearing choices are considered private affairs and neglected.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandra De Rose & Filomena Racioppi & Anna Laura Zanatta, 2008. "Italy: Delayed adaptation of social institutions to changes in family behaviour," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(19), pages 665-704, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:19:y:2008:i:19
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    File URL: https://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol19/19/19-19.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter McDonald, 2000. "Gender Equity in Theories of Fertility Transition," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 26(3), pages 427-439.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Klesment & Allan Puur & Leen Rahnu & Luule Sakkeus, 2014. "Varying association between education and second births in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(27), pages 813-860, October.
    2. Maria Rita Testa & Laura Cavalli & Alessandro Rosina, 2014. "The Effect of Couple Disagreement about Child-Timing Intentions: A Parity-Specific Approach," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 40(1), pages 31-53, March.
    3. Brienna Perelli-Harris & Laura Bernardi, 2015. "Exploring social norms around cohabitation: The life course, individualization, and culture," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 33(25), pages 701-732, October.
    4. Francesca Fiori & Francesca Rinesi & Antonella Pinnelli & Sabrina Prati, 2013. "Economic Insecurity and the Fertility Intentions of Italian Women with One Child," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 32(3), pages 373-413, June.
    5. repec:dem:demres:v:38:y:2018:i:25 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Anna Matysiak & Daniele Vignoli, 2009. "Finding the "right moment" for the first baby to come: a comparison between Italy and Poland," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-011, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. Daniele Vignoli & Silvana Salvini, 2014. "Religion and union formation in Italy: Catholic precepts, social pressure, and tradition," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(35), pages 1079-1106, November.
    8. Doo-Sub Kim & Alessandra De Rose & Giuseppe Gabrielli & Anna Paterno, 2015. "Effects Of The Economic Crisis On Fertility:A Comparison Between South Korea And Italy," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 69(2), pages 223-234, July-Sept.
    9. Tomáš Sobotka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 6: The diverse faces of the Second Demographic Transition in Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(8), pages 171-224, July.
    10. Giulia Ferrari & Alessandro Rosina & Emiliano Sironi, 2014. "Beyond Good Intentions: The Decision-Making Process of Leaving the Family of Origin in Italy," Working Papers 060, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    11. Nataliia Levchuk & Brienna Perelli-Harris, 2009. "Declining fertility in Ukraine: what is the role of abortion and contraception?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2009-045, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    12. Tomas Frejka, 2008. "Overview Chapter 5: Determinants of family formation and childbearing during the societal transition in Central and Eastern Europe," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(7), pages 139-170, July.
    13. Silvana Salvini, 2015. "Living In Couple. Marriage And Cohabitation In A Changing Italy," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 69(2), pages 37-58, April-Jun.
    14. Monika Mynarska & Anna Matysiak & Anna Rybiñska & Valentina Tocchioni & Daniele Vignoli, 2013. "Diverse Paths into Childlessness over the Life Course," Working Papers 58, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    15. Sieds, 2011. "Complete Volume LXV n.1 2011," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 65(1), pages 1-181.
    16. Brienna Perelli-Harris, 2014. "How Similar are Cohabiting and Married Parents? Second Conception Risks by Union Type in the United States and Across Europe," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(4), pages 437-464, November.
    17. repec:spr:eurpop:v:33:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10680-016-9404-2 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Sieds, 2015. "Complete Volume LXIX n. 2 2015," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 69(2), pages 1-244, April-Jun.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    adaptation; childbearing; Europe; family; fertility; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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