Italians Are Late

Francesco C. Billari and Guido Tabellini

in Demography and the Economy

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780226754727
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226754758 | DOI:
Italians Are Late

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This chapter explores the question of whether a late transition into adulthood reduces the lifetime economic opportunities of individuals. Italians provide a case study in economic demography. Their fertility rate is among the lowest in the world. Italian men study longer or at least complete college later, they enter the labor force later, and they leave the parental home later than men in any other developed country in the world. It is not unusual for Italian men to live with their parents late into their twenties and sometimes into their thirties. The chapter summarizes the situation by characterizing Italian men as entering adulthood later than men in other countries. They start all adult activities at a much later age than is common in other countries at comparable levels for development, from working, to living alone, to marrying, to having children. This chapter looks at whether this lateness reduces the lifetime economic opportunities of individuals or not. The chapter examines survey data for Italians in their mid-thirties. The key finding is that the age of leaving the parental home is quite important in terms of earnings several years later.

Keywords: adulthood; lifetime economic opportunities; economic demography; fertility rate; parental home; labor force; Italian men; lifetime earnings

Chapter.  19792 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

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