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On the determinants of living arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?

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  • Paola Giuliano

Abstract

Why are there such large differences in living arrangements across Western European countries? Conventional economic analyses have not been successful in explaining differences in living arrangements and particularly the dramatic increase in the fraction of young adults living with their parents in Mediterranean Europe. This paper offers an explanation for this phenomenon and also shows a number of surprising facts that strongly support that explanation. This paper proposes an interpretation based on the interaction of a cultural identity, reflected in different family types, with an exogenous shock --the sexual revolution. Such an explanation can easily explain both the shift in living arrangements over time and also observed North-South differentials. It receives support from data on the living arrangements of second-generation immigrants in the US. Both in 1970 and 2000, by country of origin, the US living arrangements of second-generation immigrants mimic those in Europe across countries; similarly the changes in the US across time by country of origin mimic the European changes. This duplication of the European pattern in a neutral environment, with the same unemployment benefits, the same welfare code and the same macroeconomic conditions suggests a major role in determining living arrangements for what is common between the immigrants and their mother-country counterpart, i.e. a shock that affected immigrants and their European counterparts similarly

Suggested Citation

  • Paola Giuliano, 2004. "On the determinants of living arrangements in Western Europe: Does Cultural Origin Matter?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 68, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:nasm04:68
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Yann Algan & Pierre Cahuc, 2005. "The Roots of Low European Employment: Family Culture?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2005, pages 65-109 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Becker, Sascha O. & Bentolila, Samuel & Fernandes, Ana & Ichino, Andrea, 2005. "Job Insecurity and Youth Emancipation: A Theoretical Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5339, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre, 2005. "Civic attitudes and the Design of Labor Market Institutions? Which Countries can Implement the Danish Flexicurity Model?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 0517, CEPREMAP.
    4. Bogdan-Ion Boldea, 2012. "Social factors influence on economic growth. The case of Romania," Review of Applied Socio-Economic Research, Pro Global Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 25-31, Decembre.
    5. Alessandra Fogli & Raquel Fernandez, 2009. "Culture: An Empirical Investigation of Beliefs, Work, and Fertility," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 146-177, January.
    6. Guido Tabellini, 2008. "The Scope of Cooperation: Values and Incentives," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 905-950.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
    8. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "Does Culture Affect Economic Outcomes?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 23-48, Spring.
    9. Deborah A. Cobb-Clark, 2008. "Leaving Home: What Economics Has to Say about the Living Arrangements of Young Australians," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 41(2), pages 160-176, June.
    10. Fernanda Mazzotta & Lavinia Parisi, 2015. "The effect of Employment on Leaving Home in Italy," Discussion Papers 8_2015, CRISEI, University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    11. Nuno Martins & Ernesto Villanueva, 2006. "Does limited access to mortgage debt explain why young adults live with their parents?," Working Papers 0628, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
    12. Guido Tabellini, 2007. "The Scope of Cooperation: Norms and Incentives," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000866, David K. Levine.
    13. Sascha Becker & Samuel Bentolila & Ana Fernandes & Andrea Ichino, 2010. "Youth emancipation and perceived job insecurity of parents and children," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(3), pages 1047-1071, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Social norms; living arrangements; family structure;

    JEL classification:

    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics

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