Historical Legacies of the Pre-Industrial Family Systems: Cohabitation.

Inés Gil Torras , European University Institute

This paper aims to provide a cultural explanation for the rise of cohabitation in the last decades in Europe. For doing so I approach this phenomenon from the field of historical legacies of pre-industrial family systems. The Second Demographic Transition theory has pointed the ideational change towards individualism and anti-conformism as the main cause of the rise of cohabitation; and the literature about legacies of historical family systems connected recently the preindustrial family features with the persistence of current values and attitudes. By using the data of Emmanuel Todd on historical European family systems and census data, I provide a preliminary empirical study that connects statistically the features of the pre-industrial family systems with cohabitation. I count with data for 13 European countries at the sub-national level (nuts 3). The preliminary results highlight a negative correlation between the practice of cohabitation nowadays and historical family systems that have authoritarian features (more control over their children: multigenerational households and inheritance systems that distribute the family properties unequally among siblings). The paper is still a draft, I am currently working on including more control variables, and preparing the EVS data (at nuts 2) in order to test for the links with the values of the population.

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 Presented in Session 31. Historical Demography