Parental help and type of first union in Italy

Alessandro Rosina, UniversitĂ  Cattolica, Milan

Two key features characterize the specificity of Southern European area: the presence of strong ties between parents and children and a welfare state with very limited direct help towards youth. Recently Rosina and Fraboni (2004) have argued that exactly these features are at the basis of the relatively scarce diffusion of unmarried cohabitation in Italy. A consequence of these two keys features is indeed the strategic importance for a young-adult to receive parental support in the critical events of her/his life. The need to receive help makes it particularly disadvantageous for young Italians to make choices which parents do not approve of, and that could render their help less generous. Using a recent detailed dataset we analyse the relationship between parental attitude toward cohabitation and help for the purchase of a house. We found empirical evidence that Italian parents tend to condition their help on their approval of children’s choices.

Presented in Session 29: Leaving home and family formation