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Job uncertainty and leaving the parental home in Italy: Longitudinal analysis of the effect of labour market insecurity on the propensity to leave the parental household among youth

Sonia Bertolini (Department of Cultures, Politics and Society, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)
Valentina Goglio (Department of Cultures, Politics and Society, University of Turin, Turin, Italy)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Article publication date: 5 August 2019

Issue publication date: 3 September 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether and to what extent the labour market situation of young Italians affects their chances of exiting the parental home, differentiating between leaving parental home with or without a partner. The paper also considers whether contextual factors, such as the occurrence of the economic crisis and family-related characteristics, might play a moderating role. The main focus is to understand if new modes of becoming adult are emerging in a country in which leaving home occurs relatively late and where family ties are at the same time a source of protection and a source of reproduction of inequalities.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses longitudinal data from European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions for the period 2007–2014 and applies Event History Analysis techniques for discrete time data. The analyses estimate the hazard rate of leaving the parental home for a sample of Italian individuals in the age range of 16–40 who, at the beginning of the observation period, were living with their parents.

Findings

The empirical analyses highlight a negative association between exclusion from the labour market and housing autonomy, robust and consistent across gender and across types of transition. On the contrary, a situation of objective job insecurity does not emerge as being associated to lower chances of housing autonomy, compared to individuals with job stability. Moreover, the educational background of the family of origin does not show any mediating role on the relative disadvantage of unemployed and inactive individuals, while the relative disadvantage of inactive individuals tends to further worsen in the period after the economic crisis (2010–2014).

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the study of transitions to housing autonomy by differentiating between two modes: in couple or alone. Moreover, by introducing information on the educational background of parents and the time effect, the paper aims to combine different traditions of research coming from the sociology of work, family and inequalities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project has received funding from the European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 649496.

Citation

Bertolini, S. and Goglio, V. (2019), "Job uncertainty and leaving the parental home in Italy: Longitudinal analysis of the effect of labour market insecurity on the propensity to leave the parental household among youth", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 39 No. 7/8, pp. 574-594. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSSP-05-2019-0096

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited