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ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL DETERMINANTS OF UNMARRIED COHABITATION IN BRAZIL Maira Covre-Sussai Koen Matthijs.

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Presentation on theme: "ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL DETERMINANTS OF UNMARRIED COHABITATION IN BRAZIL Maira Covre-Sussai Koen Matthijs."— Presentation transcript:

1 ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL DETERMINANTS OF UNMARRIED COHABITATION IN BRAZIL Maira Covre-Sussai Koen Matthijs

2 0. Outline: 1. Research questions, data and method. 2. Contextualizing the paper: Brazilian socio-economic and cultural diversity. 3. Main results. 4. Conclusions and Limitations.

3 1. Research questions: “What are the economic correlates of cohabiting rather than getting married in Brazil?” “How does the cultural context affect couples’ probability of being married on the one hand or cohabiting on the other?”

4 1. Research questions: COHABITATION ECONOMIC ARGUMENT SOCIO-CULTURAL ARGUMENT CHILDREN (MSC) WOMEN INCOME WOMEN EDUCATION CULTURAL DIFFERENCES SOCIALIZATION PROCESS RELIGION INDIVIDUALIZATION ?

5 1. Data & Method: - Couples level dataset from the household survey of the Brazilian 2000 census. - Post-marital cohabitation excluded. - Final sample composed of 183,123 couples. - Multilevel procedures.

6 2. Context: some figures (2009) Area: Total 8,514,877 km 2 Population 2009 estimate: 192,272,890 Different ethnic composition: Source: IBGE (2009).

7 1. Context: ethnicity North (N) and Northeast (NE): majority of the population composed by indigenous and African descendents. Southeast (SE) and South (S): mainly composed by the descendents of the large European immigration of the 19th and 20th centuries: Italians and Germans. Central-west (CW): most equilibrated division of ethnicities with 42% of whites, 50% of mixed races people and 6.5% of African descendents.

8 1. Context: Brazilian legislation (2002) Brazilian Civil Code (2002). Egalitarian power inside the family; Matched parents’ rights in case of divorce and children’s custody; Cohabitation can be considered a type of marriage by the law.

9 1. Context: (%) Couples per type of union (1960-2000) Source: IBGE: 1970 and 2000 censuses, own calculations.

10 1. Context: Marriage rate in Brazil (1980-2007) Source: IBGE: Estatísticas do Registro Civil (Civil Register Statistics), own calculations.

11 1. Context: Previous research Brazilian women are more likely than their U.S. equivalents to cohabit with male partners (Light and Ureta, 2004). Ethnographic evidence show that Brazilian cohabitants generally refer to themselves as married, and use the words husband and wife to refer to their partners (Rao and Greene, 1996). Despite of the similarities between married and cohabiting couples, we can also find some evidence that it is too soon to affirm that marriage and cohabitation are indistinguishable in Brazil….

12 1. Context: Previous research While the average duration of a marriage in Brazil is 10 years (IBGE, 2007), half of cohabitations last no more than 6 years (Rangel, 2006). Declines in fertility rates were sharper for couples in formal unions than for those in consensual ones and the total fertility among cohabiting couples is higher than among officially married ones, even controlling for age, education and duration of union (Lazo, 1999).

13 3. Results Cohabit  =  +û0j  = β0 + β1Childrenij + β2Wincomeij + β3Weducationij + β4Classij + β5Mcohortij + β6Urbratej + β7HDIj + β8Povertyj + β8Whitesj where û0j  is the states-level differential.

14 3. Results – Cultural (States) Effect Null model: Average cohabitation probability is 30%. The coverage interval for Brazilian states can range from 14% to 51% by considering states effect.

15 3. Results – Children Effect

16 3. Results – Female Education Effect

17 3. Results – Social Class Effect

18 3. Results – Cohort Effect

19 3. Results – Religious Effect

20 3. Results – Children*Social Class Effect

21 STATE-LEVEL PREDICTOR VARIABLES EFFECT: ETHNICITY: Whites are less prone to cohabit than non whites. Significant part of the between-state variance can be explained by ethnical differences. POVERTY, URBANIZATION LEVEL, HDI: None of these effects are significant neither add validity on the models. 3. Results

22 4. Conclusions The results found for the economics hypotheses were not totally supportive: Women with lower economic position as well as couples from the lower classes tend to cohabit rather than get married. Children represent a valuable marital-specific capital for the upper classes, but their impact on the decision to get married for the lower classes is smaller. This result is in line with previous qualitative research which states that it is in the Brazilian middle class that individualistic values are nurtured (Machado, 2001).

23 4. Conclusions The outcomes for the cultural argument are more consistent: Cohabitation is more common among the younger cohorts which can be related to the individualization of society and the detraditionalization of family life. Religion however was shown to (still) be a powerful mechanism of behavioral restriction. Couples with the same religion orientation tend to cohabit less, mainly when Evangelicals. Cultural differences play an important role: Significant proportion of the probability to cohabit in Brazil is explained at state level, even considering the level of poverty, urbanization, HDI and the ethnicity composition.

24 4. Limitations Census data: Covers the whole country, but has limited information. Particularities of each family are missed. Cross-sectional design does not allow us to verify change in couples’ life.

25 Thank you! Maira Covre-Sussai (maira.covre@student.kuleuven.be)maira.covre@student.kuleuven.be Koen Matthijs (koen.matthijs@soc.kuleuven.be )koen.matthijs@soc.kuleuven.be


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