Family Structure and the Turnout Gender Gap: Evidence from Italy

47 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2018

See all articles by Giorgio Bellettini

Giorgio Bellettini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Carlotta Berti Ceroni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics

Enrico Cantoni

University of Bologna

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

We study the effects of changes in household structure–marriage, divorce, widowhood, and the presence of children of different ages–on individual-level voter turnout. To this end, we assemble a unique voter-level panel dataset spanning four elections in a large Italian municipality. The data merge information from administrative voter rolls, the civil register, and income tax files. Differences-in-differences estimates accounting for voter fixed effects reveal sizable effects of marital status and children on voter participation. Impact estimates are significantly different across genders and are not explained by socio-economic characteristics.To show that changes in voter participation do not predate changes in family structure, we use an event-study approach that is rare in micro-econometric studies of voter turnout. Lastly, we explore possible mechanisms using pooled cross-sectional data from the Italian National Election Studies and the ISTAT Aspects of Daily Life surveys. Our results shed new light on the importance of life-course transitions and their gender-heterogeneous effects as key drivers of voter turnout.

Keywords: voter turnout, life-cycle transitions, household structure, gender gap

JEL Classification: D1

Suggested Citation

Bellettini, Giorgio and Berti Ceroni, Carlotta and Cantoni, Enrico and Monfardini, Chiara, Family Structure and the Turnout Gender Gap: Evidence from Italy. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11384, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3153348

Giorgio Bellettini (Contact Author)

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
I-40126 Bologna
Italy
+39 051 2098136 (Phone)
+39 051 2098040 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/giorgiobellettiniwebpage/

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Carlotta Berti Ceroni

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
I-40126 Bologna
Italy
+39 051 2098017 (Phone)
+39 051 2098040 (Fax)

Enrico Cantoni

University of Bologna

Chiara Monfardini

University of Bologna - Department of Economics ( email )

Piazza Scaravilli 2
Bologna, 40126
Italy
0039 51 2098148 (Phone)
0039 51 221968 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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