Partnership formation and first home-leaving in Europe: a multilevel competing risk analysis

Lívia Murinkó, Hungarian Central Statistical Office (HCSO)

Leaving the parental home and establishing the first cohabiting union are major life course events during young adulthood, and partnership formation is an important route out of the parental home. Previous research suggests that more and more young people may leave the parental home for reasons of schooling, employment or simply to live independently in Northern (and to some extent in Western) Europe. However, this process may be less apparent in Southern, Central and Eastern Europe where the two events are more closely linked and/or the co-residence of parents and their partnered adult children also exists. The aim of the paper is to look at the relationship between first home-leaving and partnership formation during young adulthood in 25 European countries with the help of data from the 3rd wave of the European Social Survey (2006). We aim to compare countries with different home-leaving patterns. Home-leaving of respondents born between 1930 and 1979 and between ages 15 and 35 is analysed. We perform multilevel discrete-time competing risk event history analysis, where home-leaving for partnership reasons (the two events took place in the same calendar year) and home-leaving for other reasons are the two competing events. We control for GDP (on the country-level), age, cohort, family background, education, fertility and employment history (on the individual-level) and separate analyses are presented for women and men. Preliminary results indicate that the relationship between partnership formation and first nest-leaving varies considerably across countries and country groups in Europe. Countries with higher-than-average home-leaving hazard tend to have a weaker relationship between union formation and home-leaving. The effect of union formation is the highest in Southern Europe, followed by the post-communist countries and Western Europe and it is the lowest in Scandinavia. We found only partial support for the increasing de-coupling of union formation and home-leaving.

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Presented in Session 47: Traces of second demographic transition

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