Families & households strand abstracts


Causes & consequences of union dissolution. Monday 12 September 1:30pm 

Infertility in Romantic Relationships: Relationship Quality and Stability among Married and Cohabiting Couples in the US
Jasmine Fledderjohann 1, Larry Greil 2, Julia McQuillan 3, 1 University of Oxford, 2 Alfred University, 3 University of Nebraska, Lincoln   

Over two million American women are infertile, and over seven million more experience impaired fecundity at some point. Though an extensive body of literature documents the deleterious effects of infertility on psychological well-being, less is known about the implications for relationship quality and stability. This study contributes to understanding of the role of infertility and subfecundity in contemporary romantic relationships. We apply linear and logistic regression to nationally representative data from 4,712 female respondents and their 936 male partners from wave 1 (2004-2007) and wave 2 (2010) of the longitudinal National Survey of Fertility Barriers (NSFB). Self-identified infertility and clinical diagnosis are both used to predict relationship quality and stability among both married and cohabiting couples. We examine risk of depression (using the CES-D), relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, and risk of break-up. In addition, we consider the role of social parenthood for individuals who have experienced multiple partnerships. Controlling for sociodemographics, results suggest that infertility is associated with both relationship quality and instability in complex ways. Specifically, for women, self-identified infertility was positively associated with depression. 


Union Dissolution and Women’s Economic Activity in the UK
Deborah Wiltshire, The Open University   

Divorce rates in England and Wales rose during the twentieth century with parallel upward trends seen in economic activity among married women. Studies have suggested an association exists between the two trends. In particular, theories around the specialisation of roles within marriage (Parsons, 1943; Becker, 1981) suggest that distinct and ‘natural’ gender roles exist and that when these roles are disrupted through women entering employment, divorce becomes more likely. Many studies, however, examine short time spans which is potentially problematic because as female employment becomes commonplace, it is hypothesised that the relationship between employment and union dissolution may change. This study takes a broader approach, examining all union types using UK data. A quantitative approach has been taken presenting the challenge of finding a data source that covers both a long time period and multiple aspects of women’s lives. The British Household Panel Survey and UK Household Longitudinal Survey were combined to create a sample of 7671 women with first unions starting between 1914-2009. This study found that in earlier cohorts, women spending minimal time in work had the lowest risk of dissolution, while among later cohorts’ women spending maximum time in work had the lowest risk so concludes that the association between economic activity and union dissolution has changed. One of the limitations of these data is that whilst cohort-driven change can be identified, they do not allow this hypothesis to be investigated further. Hence, further sources of data are sought that allow deeper examination of older cohorts. 


Separation and Housing Tenure Trajectories in England and Wales
Julia Mikolai, Hill Kulu, University of Liverpool   

This study investigates the effect of marital and non-marital separation on individuals’ housing tenure trajectories. Combining rich data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and the UKHLS Understanding Society study, we apply multi-level competing-risks event history models to analyse the risk of a move of single, married, cohabiting, and separated men and women to different housing tenure types (home ownership, social renting, and private renting). We distinguish between moves due to separation and moves of separated people and account for unobserved co-determinants of moving and separation risks. Additionally, we explore whether studying the risk of a move versus the risk of a tenure change leads to different results. 


Union formation. Tuesday 13 September 09:00am 

Family Structure, Relationship Quality of Family Members, and Marital Preference Catherine B. McNamee, Queen’s University Belfast   

This study examines how marital preferences among youths are influenced by family structure and youths’ perceptions of relationship quality among family members. Prior studies have investigated these types of questions but have been limited either by only concentrating on family structure or by using small non-representative samples to examine family relationships. As family structures become more complex, it is important to understand the diversity within that complexity and how it may influence family outcomes, such as the various qualities of child-stepfather relationships. The aim of this study is to investigate both family structure and family relationship quality to better grasp how the family dynamics across different family types in early life experiences may shape marital preferences. The research utilizes intergenerational data from the National Longitudinal Youth Survey 1979 (NLSY79), an ongoing U.S. cohort study, and the Children and Youth of NLSY, which sampled the children of women in the NLSY79. Linking the mother-child surveys provides detailed intergenerational information and gives the child’s perspective on the quality of relationships. Family structure and family quality are measured up to the age of 17 years old to provide information on family dynamics during adolescent development. Marital preference is measured from the first given response between ages 18-23 on the ideal relationship in 10 years. The results suggest closeness to step/bio-father, closeness to mother, and amount of arguing between mother and step/bio-father relates to marital preferences, and this varies by gender and family structure. Implications for family formation and complex families will be discussed. 


Mixed Marriages among Immigrants and Their Descendants in Europe
Tina Hannemann 1, Hill Kulu 1, Leen Rahnu 2, Allan Puur 2, Ognjen Obućina 3, Amparo González-Ferrer 4, Mihaela Hărăguş 5, Karel Neels 6, Layla Van den Berg 6, Gina Potârcă 7, Laura Bernardi 7, Ariane Pailhé 8, 1 University of Liverpool, 2 Tallinn University, 3 University of Stockholm, 4 Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, 5 Universitatea Babeş-Bolyai, 6 University of Antwerp, 7 University of Lausanne, 8 INED 

This study investigates the formation of mixed marriages in seven European countries: the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Estonia, Romania and Spain. While there is a growing interest in the spread and stability of mixed marriages, little research investigates inter-ethnic unions from a comparative perspective. Using individual-level longitudinal data from seven European countries and applying Poisson regression models, the study shows, first, that for several countries, the levels of mixed marriages vary more across ethnic groups within countries than between the countries. Second, immigrants from geographically and culturally distant origins show high levels of endogamous marriages. Third, marriage patterns among descendants of immigrants fall in-between those of immigrants and natives, but for some groups endogamous marriages remain dominant. 


The association between alcohol consumption and the timing of union formation in a British cohort
Giacomo Arrighini, University of Oxford 

This paper identifies the association between the recreational consumption of alcohol in early life and the timing of union formation using a large, representative cohort of the British population. Despite the vast amount of research available on how risky health behaviours are affected by entering a union, comparatively little has been done to identify the consequences of alcohol consumption on the selection out of singlehood, into cohabitation and marriage. The literature provides informative but conflicting glances on the topic: across different samples, cohorts, and countries drinking – captured in a variety of ways – has been linked to early marriage, to late marriage, and to no impact on the timing of marriage. Different ways of framing cohabiting union further complicate the picture. Using a longstanding, prospective cohort of the British population, this study establishes the association between the consumption of alcohol and the timing of first exit from singlehood. The use of multi-state event-history models let us identify how alcohol consumption is associated to the transition from singlehood to first cohabitation, from singlehood to first marriage, and from first cohabitation to first marriage. Our results suggest that the associations between alcohol consumption and the three transitions considered (a) have a magnitude that justifies further attention, (b) are statistically significant, and (c) are based on gender. The analyses performed further suggest that the association cannot be explained away by – among the others – parental social class, intention to pursue a tertiary education, frequency of participation in social activities, reported ideal timing for marriage, and smoking.  


Gender norms and life-long singlehood: A multilevel analysis
Daniela Bellani, Gøsta Esping-Andersen, and Lesia Nedoluzhko, Universitat Pompeu Fabra    

Life-long singlehood is a relatively marginal phenomenon, averaging about five percent across the European Union. And yet, there is substantial variation, ranging from a low of 2 percent in Denmark to a high of 10 percent in Ireland and Italy. What explains such cross-national variations? Our main thesis is that they reflect prevailing norms regarding gender relations. We expect low levels in two opposing situations: where traditional gender role expectations prevail, and where gender egalitarian norms have become broadly diffused throughout the population. It is when society has not yet adapted to women’s new roles that we hypothesize a significant increase in singlehood. We focus on women and men aged between 40 and 55 who have never experienced a co-residential partnership. We apply multilevel modelling to ESS and EVS data collected between 2002 and 2014, and we focus in particular on differences in non-partnering across levels of education. Our principal aim is to identify how changing gender relations influence singlehood across educational strata. Our results reveal an inverse U-shaped relationship between levels of gender egalitarianism and singlehood for women, especially for those with higher education; the association is linear for low educated men. We also find that the gender gap is positively associated with lifelong singlehood for women, but this does not apply to men. 


Family formation. Tuesday 13 September 11:00am 

Educational differences in non-marital childbearing in Britain: What do recent data reveal?
Nitzan Peri-Rotem, Jacqueline Scott, University of Cambridge 

Childbearing outside marriage, especially among cohabiting couples, has become increasingly common in Britain and in many other Western countries during the past decades. While this trend may reflect liberalization of attitudes toward new forms of family formation, empirical studies show that non-marital childbearing is disproportionately concentrated among less educated women. This pattern could potentially exacerbate social inequality, since children born outside marriage are at higher risk of living in lone-parent families and are economically disadvantaged compared to children born within marriage. In the current study we explore whether the educational gap in non-marital births has further increased among British women since the 1990s. In addition, we examine the role of the male partner’s education in the transition to parenthood within cohabitation or marriage. For this purpose, we use data from the BHPS and Understanding Society, covering the period from 1991 to 2012. We employ a competing risks model to estimate the likelihood of women aged 17-45 to experience first birth outside a live-in partnership, in cohabitation, in marriage or not having a first birth in a given month. A similar model (excluding unpartnered births) is employed for couples, where both partners’ characteristics are taken into account. We find that both low and moderately educated women experienced a steeper increase in first birth rates within cohabitation compared to highly educated women, for whom the majority of first births still occur within marriage. Men’s education is also negatively associated with childbearing within cohabitation, although this relationship varies according to women’s educational attainment. 


Education and Diverging Family Trajectories in Britain: New Insights from Microsimulation
Eva Beaujouan 1, 2, Ann Berrington 3, 4, Maria Winkler-Dworak 1, 2, 1 Wittgenstein Centre for Demography and Global Human Capital, 2 Vienna Institute for Demography, 3 University of Southampton 4, ESRC Centre for Population Change 

According to the “Diverging Destinies” thesis, changes in family behaviour associated with the Second Demographic Transition have meant that more educated women tend to be exposed to gaining trajectories, with later childbearing and maternal employment, while women with fewest resources tend to pursue losing trajectories associated with early, non-marital childbearing and partnership dissolution. There has thus been in the US a divergence in the opportunities for these groups of women, and an increasing disparity of life chances for their children. This paper examines, using a long time series of retrospective fertility and partnership histories, how the family trajectories of British women have changed in recent decades, and the extent to which demographic experiences have diverged according to education. Childlessness is becoming more and more frequent among highly educated women, and births out of a co-residing union increasingly frequent among the lower educated. On the other hand, the differentials in having all children in partnerships or experiencing first partnership dissolution have not increased. A microsimulation model will allow us to estimate the interrelationships between partnership formation, fertility, and partnership dissolution in a holistic way and thus permit us to project the completed trajectories of cohorts born in the 1970s and early 1980s who have yet to reach the end of their reproductive years, under varying assumptions. The paper concludes with a discussion of questions and policy implications that the findings raise. 


Ethnic differentials in the labour market preconditions to parenthood in Belgium Layla Van den Berg, Jonas Wood, Karel Neels, University of Antwerp   

In the past decades, family formation among the Belgian majority population has been characterized by postponement of the entry into parenthood. Recent research has mainly concluded that both male and female labour force participation stimulates the transition to parenthood. Remarkably, these studies do not always account for population heterogeneity in terms of different origin groups. However, differentiating the effect of cultural and economic characteristics by origin group adds to the existing literature. Migrant groups tend to differ from the majority populations both in terms of socio-economic position and gender role expectations. This paper attempts to contribute to existing literature on this topic by taking into account population heterogeneity in terms of origin in the Belgian context. We focus in particular on couples with partners of Turkish and Moroccan descent and compare them with couples consisting of two Belgian partners. Descriptive results indicate that the dual earner model is the dominant type of employment pattern among the majority population. However, Moroccan and Turkish minority groups display considerable higher shares of male breadwinner households, female breadwinner households or households without an earner compared to Belgian couples. In addition, this study finds that, whereas the double earner model yields the highest probability of first births among Belgian couples, descendants of both Turkish and Moroccan origin show very different associations between the household division of paid work and the onset of family formation. Particularly migrants of Moroccan origin clearly display a positive association between the male breadwinner model and first births. 


Union dissolution & child wellbeing. Tuesday 13 September 13:30pm 

Parental Separation and Children’s Education in a Comparative Perspective: Does the Burden Disappear When Separation is More Common?
Martin Kreidl 1, Martina Štípková 2, Barbora Hubatková 1, 1 Masaryk University, 2 University of West Bohemia 

Background: Parental breakup has a negative effect on children’s education. However, it is unclear if this negative effect changes when parental separation becomes more common. Objective: We study the variation in the effect of parental separation on children’s chances of obtaining tertiary education across cohorts and countries with varying divorce rates. Method: We apply country and cohort fixed-effect as well as random-effect models to data from the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey, complemented by selected macro-level indicators (divorce rate and educational expansion). Results: Fixed-effect logistic regressions show that the negative effect of experiencing parental separation is stronger in recent birth cohorts. Random-intercept linear probability models confirm that the negative effect of parental breakup is significantly stronger when divorce is more common. Conclusions: The results support the good-family dissolution hypothesis, which explains the trend by a rising proportion of dissolving low-conflict families. A child from a dissolving low-conflict family is negatively affected by family dissolution, whereas a child from a high-conflict dissolving family experiences relief from the ending of a dysfunctional parental relationship and positive effects prevail. As divorce spreads in society, more low-conflict couples separate and hence the average negative effect of breakup becomes more negative. Contribution: We show significant variation in the size of the divorce effect on children’s education; it becomes more negative when divorce is more common.  


Mind the gaps: Rethinking the policy implications of family gaps in well-being Wendy Sigle, London School of Economic and Political Science     

Against a backdrop of growing inequality and insecurity, concerns about the life chances of children have received renewed attention in recent years. Differentials in child-wellbeing by family structure and parental marital status have been documented for a large number of outcomes. Even in advanced welfare states, with low levels of inequality, early advantage or adversity has significant effects on developmental trajectories, the legacy of which extend into adolescence and adulthood. Whether framed as an issue of social justice or social investment, improving the life chances of disadvantaged children is understood as a pressing policy concern and a legitimate area of government intervention. Given the potentially high costs of misguided policy interventions, it is important to think carefully about how evidence is produced and interpreted for policy purposes. Demographers and economists have made a substantial contribution to an empirical literature which treats family structure as a marker of resources. Given the methodological priority attached to causality in both of these disciplines, concerns about positive socioeconomic selection into marriage received much attention. A number of studies have sought to control for observed and unobserved characteristics that make some people more likely to marry and stay married. Residual associations were sometimes described as “causal” effects. In the US context, in particular, these findings were interpreted as support for or against policies that would promote marriage in low income and ethnic minority communities. Using a gendered lens, this paper provides a critical assessment of the production and interpretation of residual effects of this kind. 


Divided families, father-child contact and children’s outcomes: Evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study
Alessandro Di Nallo, Esping Andersen, Universitat Pompeu Fabra 

This study analyses the association between separated non-resident fathers’ contact with their children and children’s outcomes at age 11, using high quality data from the UK-based Millennium Cohort Study. We continuously follow about 12,000 children born in 2000-2001 in couples in co-residential relationships. In case of union dissolution, we observe the level of father’s contact with the biological child in a two-year period, proxied by the number of weekly visits and the regularity of maintenance payments. We link the family arrangements of the child and, in case of parents’ separation, the level of father’s involvement, with the child’s cognitive outcomes and a score of psychological adjustment, as measured at age 11. We also explore the association between the entry of a step-father in the family, and the presence of step-children, with the aforementioned scores. Finally, we test whether the level of parental contact changes according to non-resident father’s socio-economic status and education. We control for a wide range of characteristics of the parents, the potential stepfather, and the child. We use simple linear regression models for cognitive outcomes and also linear regression models with fixed-effect for the behavioural score. 


Impact of Divorce on Father–Child Relationships on children’s well-being: the moderating role of early childhood circumstances. 
Anna Garriga 1, Fulvia Pennoni 2, 1 Department of Political and Social Science, University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, 2 Department of Statistics and Quantitative Methods, University of Milano-Bicocca    

Many studies have documented that parental divorce has a negative impact on the quantity and quality of relationship between fathers and children. Children suffer emotionally when they do not have contact with the father or it is weak. When children have a weak relationship with their father, they have more difficulty in benefitting from the socioeconomic resources of fathers that are important for children’s life chances. Some divorced fathers would like to have more contact with their young children. Many divorced fathers are more socially isolated when they are old than their married counterparts. A clear negative association between parental divorce and father-child relationship has been observed in several countries; this indicates that it is not specific to a certain country. However, the existing research presents several limitations. First, most studies focus on adolescent or adult children. Very few study very young children (under 5) despite that it is well-established that there is a clear association between early childhood conditions and later outcomes during adolescence and adulthood. The diminution of contacts between parents and children at a younger age affects the frequency of contacts between them when the latter becomes an adult. Second, limited research on the quality and quantity of father-child relationship has focused on understanding heterogeneity of the divorce effect. There is a great variability of the quality and quantity of father-child relationship after divorce. Some divorced children have a good relationship with their fathers. For this reason, it is important to explore the early childhood circumstances that determine the quantity (contacts) and the quality father-child relationship after divorce. This paper aims to address these gaps in the literature, using three waves of the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), a nationally representative, longitudinal study of a British birth cohort that provides information about children’s and parents before and after divorce. The first sweep (MCS1) was carried out in 2001-2, and contained information on 18,819 babies in 18,533 families, collected from the parents when the babies were 9-11 months old. The families were followed up when the children were aged 3 and 5 years. We focus on young children that have experienced parental separation between wave 1 (9-11 months old) and wave 3 (5 years old). In a first step, we analyse the impact of four childhood circumstances on the quality and quantity of father–child relationships: fathers’ involvement before parental separation; parents’ relationship quality before separation; parents’ relationship quality after separation; parents’ union status at birth of the child (married or cohabiting) and father’s and mother’s education. In a second step, we analyse to what extend quality and quantity of father-child relationship affects children’s cognitive development and psychological well-being at age 5. In a third step, we explore to what extent the effects of father-child relationship on children’s outcomes are moderated by these childhood circumstances. We specially aim to explore if the effect of parent-child contacts is also positive when parents have a poor relationship quality after separation. In other words, whether contact between children and divorced fathers. 


Family structure & wellbeing. Tuesday 13 September 16:45pm 

Better off living with family or alone? Men’s living arrangements, partnership status and health in Russia  
Natalia V. Permyakova, Jennifer A. Holland, Brienna Perelli-Harris, Department of Social Statistics and Demography, University of Southampton   

Substantial research has examined the causes of premature male mortality, such as heavy drinking in Russia, but few studies have investigated how living arrangements and family may affect health. Russia is a unique case in comparison to the West, with high divorce rates and a high proportion of men living in intergenerational households. Drawing on Western and Japanese studies, we argue that living arrangements and partnership status play an important role in the health status of Russian men. We investigate three hypotheses: single men are unhealthier than partnered men; single men living alone are unhealthier than other men; among those living in intergenerational households, single men are the least healthy group compared to partnered men or others. We also test whether men’s health differs by wealth quintiles within living arrangements. Nominal models with self-rated health as the outcome were estimated separately for each hypothesis using the Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey (RLMS 2013-2014). Preliminary results for each hypothesis show that the significant relationship between men’s health and living arrangements disappears after controlling for family covariates. However, we uncover a significant difference between partnered and single men living in intergenerational households in the wealthiest quintile. Given the complexity of living arrangements in Russia, this analysis is the first step to disentangling the relationship between living arrangements and men’s health. Our study points to the importance of family income and partnership status in maintaining positive health among Russian men living in intergenerational households. Further research needs to investigate the direction of causality. 


Union status and Income at Mid-life in the U.S., UK, Germany, and Norway: can selection and childbearing explain the association?
Brienna Perelli-Harris 1, Fenaba Addo 2, Stefanie Hoherz 1, Trude Lappegård 3, Sharon Sassler 4, 1 University of Southampton, 2 University of Wisconsin, 3 Statistics Norway, 4 Cornell University   

Previous research has found that marriage often results in an income premium in mid-life. This premium also tends to be higher for men than women. Yet it is unclear to what extent the association between marriage and income is due to selection or causation, or simply the presence of children who would encourage more responsible lifestyles. With recent increases in cohabitation, living in an unmarried partnership or having children in either cohabitation or marriage may be sufficient for explaining the increase in income, especially once selection is taken into account. These relationships may also vary depending on legal, welfare state, and cultural contexts. Here we compare differences in income between married and cohabiting men and women in the UK, US, Norway, and Germany. Our surveys - UK BCS70, US NLSY, the Norwegian GGS, and the German SOEP - include a mix of longitudinal and retrospective questions, allowing us to match individuals on socio-economic background, childhood family structure, and early adolescent conditions and behaviours. We then use propensity score weighted regressions to account for non-random selection into different types of unions and to control for factors which may influence income after entrance into a union. This approach will allow us to examine the heterogeneity of treatment effects, i.e. whether marriage is especially beneficial to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Taken as a whole, the analyses will lead to a better understanding of whether and/or why marriage is associated with income in mid-life, and how this differs across countries. 


The social and economic impact of international female labour migration on left-behind husbands: Case study of East Java, Indonesia
Saseendran Pallikadavath 1, Amie Kamanda 1, Keppi Sukesi 2, Faishal Aminuddin 2, Henny Rosalinda 2, Kieron Hatton 3, 1 Portsmouth-Brawijaya Centre for Global Health, Population and Policy, University of Portsmouth, 2 Portsmouth-Brawijaya Centre for Global Health, Population and Policy, University of Brawijaya, Malang, Indonesia, 3 School of Health Sciences and Social Work, University of Portsmouth 

Context: An estimated 80% of individuals migrating officially outside of Indonesia to work are women. International female labour migration leads to the temporary separation of mothers from their children. Previous research showed that the separation led to the reduced wellbeing of the child, as being a homogeneous group. This paper explores the impact of this separation on both young children as well as adolescents; the impact is conceptualised to significantly vary across these physically and emotionally growing sub-groups. Data and methods: The study was carried out in two villages in Malang and Ponorogo Regencies in East Java. A census (178 households in two villages) was followed by in-depth interviews (71) with left-behind family members, including adolescents. Descriptive analysis was applied to the household dataset and thematic analysis was used to triangulate the views of the household members. Results and conclusions: Both young children and adolescents benefited from migration: while young children mainly benefited from better quality education, health care, consumption; older children had greater access to pocket money, and extracurricular activities. Some mothers migrated after childbirth, leaving their children in the care of their husbands or grandmothers for a longer duration. Such children reported feeling a sense of loneliness and neglect leading to emotional separation from their mothers. Adolescent girls reported difficulties in managing their physical changes without their mothers, leading to stress and discomfort. A contribution of this study is identifying the challenges faced by adolescent girls as they started puberty in the absence of their mothers. 


How families operate. Wednesday 14 September 09:00am 

Fathers’ Involvement in Childcare in the United Kingdom: Recent Trends and Social Differences
Ursula Henz, The London School of Economics and Political Science   

Fathers’ involvement in childcare has become the focus of much debate since its beneficial effects on children’s well-being have emerged. Many time-use surveys have documented the increasing involvement of fathers in childcare during the past decades. The first aim of this presentation is examining whether the trend of increasing involvement of fathers in bringing up their children has continued in the UK during the last fifteen years that spanned both relevant policy changes and the economic crisis. The second aim of the presentation is examining differences in father involvement by father’s education and mother’s involvement in paid work. Past research has found that the more engaged mothers are in paid work, the more equally they share in caring for their children (Craig & Mullan 2011; Sullivan et al. 2009). In addition, mothers’ employment increases father’s involvement with childcare if the mother works unusual hours in the evening or on the weekend. Thereby, policies that encourage mother’s employment might have indirectly increased father involvement. The presentation will compare fathers’ involvement in childcare recorded in the UK Time Use Surveys from 2000 (UKTUS 2000) and the soon to be released survey from 2013-14 (UKTUS 2013), focusing on fathers in intact families, i.e. fathers living with a partner. UKTUS 2000 comprises diaries of 1,064 fathers with the described characteristics. The sample of UKTUS 2013 is of the same order of magnitude as UKTUS 2010. The analyses will distinguish between routine and interactive childcare and also examine father’s time alone with a child. 


The educational gradient in resource pooling across native and foreign-born spouses in Italy
Romina Fraboni 1, Agnese Vitali 2, 1 Istituto Nazionale di Statistica (ISTAT), 2 University of Southampton and ESRC Centre for Population Change    

The paper studies the decision to pool resources among spouses at marriage using the choice of matrimonial property regime (community vs. separation of assets). The paper compares native spouses, spouses in mixed marriages and marriages with both foreign spouses across educational categories and distinguishes the main countries of origins of the foreign spouses. We use data from the 2013 Italian marriage register which collects information on all marriages celebrated in Italy in a given year and uses logistic regression to estimate the probability of a couple choosing to separate their resources on the basis of their educational composition and couple type (both natives, mixed marriage, both foreign) for first and second marriages. Preliminary results show the existence of an educational gradient in the choice of matrimonial property regime at marriage: as educational attainment increases, couples are more likely to opt for separating the assets that they will accumulate during marriage. This pattern is observed for both endogamous and exogamous marriages, while the opposite holds for marriages with both foreign spouses. Finally, we find that in endogamous marriages and marriages with an Italian bride, educationally hypogamic couples are more likely to choose the separation of property with respect to hypergamous couples. 


Do relative resources mediate the parenthood effect on gender inequality? An analysis of change in the division of paid work among couples over the transition to parenthood
Tine Kil, Karel Neels, Jonas Wood, University of Antwerp 

In line with micro-economic theories and bargaining theories, increasing female education and earning potential are expected to reduce and ultimately reverse gender specialization within households. In practice, however, gender equality or a reversal of gender roles within the family has hitherto not occurred, suggesting that cultural norms regarding gender roles are lagging behind. This paper aims to enhance our understanding of these mechanisms by comparing the degree to which the gender division of paid work changes following the transition to parenthood in households where men versus women were the main income providers before the onset of family formation. Using longitudinal micro-data (1999-2010) from the national register of Belgium, mixed-effects models of (i) change in working hours of the female partner, (ii) change in working hours of the male partner and (iii) change in the relative gender division of paid work are estimated among 5 957 heterosexual couples experiencing the transition to parenthood. We focus on the effect of relative resources. Results show that couples, on average, divide work more traditionally when becoming parents, irrespective of who was the main earner before the onset of family formation. However, a small but significant effect of relative resources is observed: in couples where the male partner has the highest earning potential, gender inequality in the division of paid work increases to a larger extent over the transition to parenthood compared to couples where the female partner has the highest earning potential. Hence, gender seems to overrule utility maximization when couples become parents. 


The long-term effects of parenting styles on substance use – the importance of parental warmth measurement
Maria Iacovou, University of Cambridge   

The purpose of the present research is to examine the long-term effects of parenting on substance use in adulthood by employing various measurements of parenting styles. Several studies have documented the effects of childrearing on adult’s substance use. However, they had been impeded by the lack of consensus in the measurements of parenting styles, particularly in parental warmth (Fabricius et al., 2012). The aim of this study is to generate three sets of parenting styles based on the same scale of demandingness but various measurements of parental warmth- responsiveness, quality time-availability, and attachment - to provide different perspectives in scrutinizing the association between parenting and substance use in adulthood. The present research employed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (AddHealth) wave I (age 12-17) and wave IV (age 25-30), and applied ordinary least squares and logistic regression. Results showed that using either responsiveness or attachment as the measurement of parental warmth was shown to have larger implications, than quality time- availability, on adults’ use of substances. This was further proved by the BIC that these two models were more likely to fit the observed data. These findings provide a solid evidence base for the necessity of defining parental warmth precisely. Implications of the results also extend previous research on the relationship between parenting styles and substance use, suggesting that the interaction between control and ‘how responsive parents are’, as well as ‘how child feels’, may have longer effects than ‘how much quality time parents spend with their child’. 


Household structure and private intergenerational transfers in Russia 
Anna Mironova, Higher School of Economics, Moscow 

Despite the polemic about the transformation of the family institution in modern society, the importance of family ties remains uncontested. According to our research, private intergenerational transfers are an important part of the economy of households in Russia and the source of moral support and services. In 2013 45% of Russian households participated in exchange of money or goods with relatives and friends; 16.5% of households received support in the form of different services from relatives or friends. The main part of informal support is provided by relatives. How demographic type of the household affects its role in the system of private transfers is the main issues of this article. In our research we use data of Russian Longitudinal Monitoring Survey. Russia Longitudinal Monitoring Survey is a series of nationally representative surveys designed to monitor the effects of Russian reforms on the health and economic welfare of households and individuals in the Russian Federation [http://www.hse.ru/en/rlms/]. According to our research, demographic structure of the household defines its role in the system of private intergenerational transfers. We analyze these types of households: single parent with dependent children; one adult-non retiree; one adult-retiree; couple without children (non- retiree); couple without children (retiree); couple with children; complex household; other households. Couple without children (non-retiree), couple without children (retiree) and other households most often play the role of net-donors of material private transfers. Single-parent households and couples with children are more likely to be net-recipients.