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Live together: does culture matter?

Author

Listed:
  • Miriam Marcén

    (Universidad de Zaragoza)

  • Marina Morales

    (Universidad de Zaragoza)

Abstract

This paper studies the role of culture in determining the decision to live together (as a married or unmarried couple). To examine this issue, we utilize data on first-generation immigrants who arrived in the United States at or before the age of 5. We follow the epidemiological approach, indicating that dissimilarities in the behavior of young-arrival immigrants originating from different countries, who grew up and live in the same country, can be interpreted as evidence of the existence of a cultural effect. Results show a positive and statistically significant relationship between the cultural proxy, that is, the proportion of individuals living together by country of origin, and the immigrant choice of living with a partner. We extend this analysis to an exploration of the formation of same- or different-origin couples, in addition to an examination of the effect of culture on other modes of household arrangement (such as living with an adult child, living with grandparents, same-gender couples, and family size, among others). In all cases, our findings suggest an important role of culture. The results are robust after controlling for several home-country, observable and unobservable characteristics, and to the use of different subsamples. Supplementary analysis shows a range of channels of transmission of culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Miriam Marcén & Marina Morales, 2019. "Live together: does culture matter?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 671-713, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:reveho:v:17:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s11150-018-9431-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11150-018-9431-3
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    Cited by:

    1. Christina A. Houseworth & Barry R. Chiswick, 2020. "Divorce among European and Mexican Immigrants in the U.S," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 1-25, March.
    2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Matthew Comey & Amanda Eng & Pamela Meyerhofer & Alexander Willén, 2020. "Culture and gender allocation of tasks: source country characteristics and the division of non-market work among US immigrants," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 907-958, December.
    3. Miriam Marcén & Marina Morales, 2020. "The effect of culture on home‐ownership," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 56-87, January.
    4. Marcén, Miriam & Morales, Marina, 2019. "Gender division of household labor: How does culture operate?," GLO Discussion Paper Series 373, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    5. Bellido, Héctor & Marcén, Miriam, 2020. "On the relationship between body mass index and marital dissolution," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 326-340.
    6. Héctor Bellido & Miriam Marcén, 2021. "Will you marry me? It depends (on the business cycle)," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 551-579, June.

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