First union entries: the choice between cohabitation and marriage among women in Italy and Spain

Thaís García Pereiro, Università degli Studi di Bari
Maria Grazia Didonna, Università degli Studi di Bari
Roberta Pace, Università degli Studi di Bari

In Spain and Italy cohabitation has not acquired the same role that it has had in Northern Europe, but the prevalence of cohabiting couples in both countries is not longer marginal. Moreover, the nature of cohabiting couples is also diverse: cohabitation is a temporal alternative that generally ends with the formalization of the union (marriage). Within a western context of changes in union formation patterns, the study of the choice between marriage and cohabitation as first unions becomes of great importance. Is it accurate to talk about a shared pattern of union formation in Mediterranean countries like Italy and Spain? The purpose of this paper is to examine the choice between cohabitation and marriage (timing and determinants) as a first union using a life course comparative approach. For the analysis of the determinants of first partnership formation we will apply discrete-time competing-risks models (one for each country) considering birth cohort, parental divorce, place of residence, educational attainment, employment, leaving the parental home and birth of a child (last three time dependent) as independent variables.

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Presented in Session 61: Cohabitation