The emergence of cohabitation in transitional socio-economic context: Evidence form Bulgarian and Russian GGS

Dora Kostova, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

For a decade and a half after the fall of the state socialist system Bulgaria and Russia have gone through intensive societal transformations - economical, political, cultural, etc. The transitional period has been characterized with many turnovers and new phenomena which entail detailed investigation. With this study we aim to compare two countries with similar welfare state, political regimes and demographic development at the turning point (beginning of 1990s) and to reveal the essential factors for the recent demographic changes by linking the macro-level changes to individual lives. Using a recent data from Bulgarian and Russian GGS (2004) we elaborate on the issue of family formation and the shifts in the timing and type of first union in dramatically changed socio-economic contexts. By means of event history analysis we investigate whether the cohabitation is “institutionalized” among the couples to the level of marital family or it is rather recognized as the final stage in a process leading to marriage. The main stress will be laid on the impact of the family background and the social environment on union formation as well as on the transformation of cohabitation into a marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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