Union formation, marriage and first birth: convergence across cohorts in Austria, Hungary, northern Italy and Slovenia?

Marija Mamolo, Università di Roma "La Sapienza"

Convergence of demographic behaviour across Western and Eastern European countries has been frequently addressed in the demographic literature. The interplay between different demographic determinants may trigger or prevent convergence of various dimensions of demographic behaviour both within and between the two regions. In this paper we investigate whether convergence or divergence dynamics prevails between Austria, Hungary, Northern Italy and Slovenia as regards union formation and transition to motherhood using FFS data. Adopting a life-course perspective, we highlight cross- country heterogeneity in the transition rate and see whether and how cross-country differences change across cohorts in terms of diverging or converging demographic behaviour. The findings suggest that convergence in patterns of union formation and first birth is far from being achieved across the countries considered. Postponement of family formation and motherhood has spread, but between-country differences have been maintained or even have given evidence of divergent cross-country patterns.

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Presented in Session 54: Eastern and Western Europe: convergence and divergence