‘Til Work Do Us Part: The Economic Context of Non-Cohabiting Marriages

Giulia Ferrari, Università Bocconi
Ross Macmillan, Università Bocconi

There is long term interest in the role that economic and labor conditions play in shaping partnerships. Of late, particular attention has focused on the extensive transformations of work that have accompanied globalization and modernization and their potential impact on marriage and family. One particularly interesting issue is how marriages are increasingly divorced from cohabitation and how this relates to conditions of work and employment. Empirically, this research uses data from the international IPUMS program for three objectives. First, we outline the cross-national, and cross-time trends in non-cohabitation marriages. Second, we estimate multi-level models that incorporate different dimensions of economy and employment to clarify the economic sources of non-cohabitation marriages. Third, we make basic country-specific projections of the prevalence of non-cohabitation marriages. In doing so, we provide an important first look at the re-configuration of key family phenomena and discuss implications for research at the intersection of economics and demography.

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Presented in Session 33: Migration and Family Dynamics