The influence of regional context on childbearing in cohabitation in Europe

Trude Lappegård, Statistics Norway
Sebastian Kluesener, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence

Premarital cohabitation and transition to parenthood within cohabiting unions have increased across Europe. Beside, patterns of union formation and childbearing have developed differently across countries where social, economic, and ideational forces have created variation over time and space. Our research contributes to this debate about the interrelationship between contextual cultural norms and attitudes and family formation. We investigate the influence of regional context on childbearing in cohabitation in Europe, emphasizing cultural values such as gender egalitarianism, family values, secularism, as well as general trust in a society. Making use of a multilevel approach, we focus on the transition to parenthood and explore contextual influences on whether a first birth of a couple occurs within cohabitation or within marriage. Our preliminary results show that contextual cultural values and attitudes play a pivotal role in whether children are born within cohabitation.

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Presented in Session 105: Changing unions and childbearing