Continuity and Change

Research Article

Remarriage in a pre-transitional Italian community

MARCO BRESCHIa1, MATTEO MANFREDINIa2 and ALESSIO FORNASINa3

a1 Department of Economics, University of Sassari.

a2 Department of Genetics, Anthropology and Evolution, University of Parma.

a3 Department of Statistics, University of Udine.

ABSTRACT

The article explores the roles of household compositional factors and socio-economic status on widowhood and remarriage. By using micro-level data from a nineteenth-century Italian community for the period 1819–1859, we found evidence of the very predominant role of household structure in the decision to remarry for both widows and widowers. In particular, the interplay between the presence of a supportive family network and the presence of coresiding children from previous marriages stood out as the key factors. The presence of children aged 12 and under promoted the search for a new bride for widowers, whilst the presence of children of any age, especially young ones, decreased the chances of remarriage for widows.