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Jerome Adda (Bocconi University)

26 October 2021 @ 12:00 - 13:15


  • Past event


26 October 2021
12:00 - 13:15
Event Category:
Academic Events

“There is more to Marriage than Love: The Effect of Legal Status and Cultural Distance on Intermarriages and Separations”


Abstract. This paper analyses the marriage decisions of natives and migrants focusing on the role of legal status and cultural distance. We exploit a natural experiment, the successive enlargements of the European Union, that shifted the incentives of some groups of foreigners to marry natives. Using Italian administrative data on the universe of marriages and separations, we show that it profoundly changed the composition of mixed marriages. Access to legal status reduces by half the probability of immigrants intermarrying with natives. Building on this evidence, we develop and structurally estimate a multidimensional equilibrium model of marriage and separation allowing for trade-offs between cultural distance, legal status, and other socio-economic spousal characteristics, where individuals match on observed and unobserved characteristics. We quantify the role of legal status and the strength of cultural affinity and show how it relates to linguistic, religious or genetic distance.


Joint with Paolo Pinotti and Giulia Tura.