The growth of migrant/native marriages documented in many developed countries is often regarded as an indicator of immigrants’ assimilation into host societies. We argue that a close examination of assortative mating patterns in migrant/native marriages is critical for a proper assessment of the link between immigrants’ assimilation and intermarriage. Specifically, we test the relevance of the status exchange hypothesis to accounting for mixed marriages in Italy, a context characterised by a sharp increase in intermarriages and a particularly poor socio-economic integration of immigrants. We provide supportive evidence on status exchange by documenting significant deviations from the ‘standard’ patterns of positive assortative mating among migrant/native marriages. Exploiting Italian Labour Force Survey and Italian Register of Marriage micro-data, we find that migrant/native marriages are more likely when less-educated older native men marry better educated younger immigrant women, especially when the latter originate from non-Western countries. Immigrant women are also more likely to marry an Italian man if they are not employed at the moment of marriage. Patterns of assortative mating converge with those prevailing among native couples when immigrant women possess Italian citizenship at the moment of marriage, confirming the greater importance of status exchange when immigrants’ integration is low.
|Titolo:||An Empirical Study of Status Exchange through Migrant/Native Marriages in Italy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|