Volume 40 - Article 20 | Pages 533–560

Who leaves, who stays? Gendered routes out of the family home following union dissolution in Italy

By Francesca Fiori

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Date received:23 Apr 2018
Date published:12 Mar 2019
Word count:7673
Keywords:gender differences, housing, Italy, living arrangements, residential mobility, separation
Weblink:You will find all publications in this Special Collection on “Separation, Divorce, and Residential Mobility in a Comparative Perspective” here.


Objective: This study focuses on couples in Italy who experienced union dissolution between 2005 and 2014 and investigates the existence of gendered routes out of the family home upon separation.

Methods: The empirical analyses rely on microdata from the EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions. Using logistic regression, I estimate whether the likelihood that women move out of the family home upon separation is associated with contextual characteristics, the gender balance within couples, and the presence of children.

Results: Women are more likely than men to stay in the family home following separation. They are, however, more likely than men to leave the family home if the male partner owns or rents the accommodation, if he is older than them, and if the couple had no common children. Contextual influences also seem to shape the routes out of the family home, as women separating after 2010 and living in less densely populated areas are more likely than other women to leave the family home. Interestingly, some of these influences have different intensity and significance depending on the presence of children.

Contribution: This is the first study of residential mobility following separation in Italy. The consequences of separation are often gendered; knowing whether gender also defines the housing consequences of separation, and which other dimensions of inequality are associated with moving out of the family home, is crucial to inform policies aimed at mitigating the housing disadvantages experienced by individuals who undergo a separation.

Author's Affiliation

Francesca Fiori - University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Maternal employment and the well-being of children living with a lone mother in Scotland
Volume 43 - Article 57

» Economic reasons for not wanting a second child: Changes before and after the onset of the economic recession in Italy
Volume 38 - Article 30

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