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Gendered economic determinants of couple formation over 50 in France

Carole Bonnet (), Fanny Godet and Anne Solaz

No G2019/13, Working Papers from French Institute for Demographic Studies

Abstract: Couple formation over 50 has been largely unexplored until now. The lack of literature on this topic especially in France lies in the low number of events for this age group, even if it is increasing. From the Fideli 2016 two-year panel which combines comprehensive income and housing tax returns, we study the determinants of the union between women and men after 50 years (logistic regression), the type of union chosen: marriage, PACS or common-law union (multinomial regression), and the degree of homogamy within these new couples. The probability to form an union is higher for men than for women but sharply decreases with age for both. Previous marital status and income play different roles depending on the sex. Compared to never-married men, widowers are more likely to form a new couple. It is the opposite for women. Divorced men and women more often form a new union than others. While a high income increases the chances of repartnering for men, it decreases them for women. However, the effects of supply (less opportunity on the marriage market) cannot be disentangled from the effects of demand (less willingness and need to form a couple). For low income, forming a couple is one way to increase one's standard of living, at ages when it is difficult to increase the labor market participation. The type of union chosen also differs according to previous marital status and income. Over 50, the ex-spouses are more likely to marry, except for the widows who are the least likely to marry. Income plays positively on the fact of contracting an union for men. For women, the probability to contractualize theirs unions is highest at both ends of the income distribution. Over 50, men enter new unions with younger women and women who have similar levels of income. Women form new partnership with men who earn more than them.

Keywords: couple; union formation; seniors; elderly; age group over 50; marriage; Pacs; income distibution; PERSONNE AGEE / AGED; COUPLE / COUPLE; REMISE EN COUPLE / REPARTNERING; FORMATION DES COUPLES / UNION FORMATION (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 1-39
Date: 2019
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age and nep-eur
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