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Gender, Cohabitation and Martial Dissolution: Are changes in Irish family composition typical of European countries?

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  • Heffernan, Catherine Mary

    (University of Oxford)

Abstract

In the early 1990s, the Irish Republic experienced a watershed in sexual morality with the introduction of legalisation on divorce, contraceptives, right to information on abortion and the decriminalisation of homosexuality. This was accompanied by decreasing family sizes and an increase in non-martial births and cohabitation. The aim of this paper is to examine Irish family practices since the instigation of this demographic transition in order to determine whether Irish family practices have become typical of European patterns. Using the European Community Household Panel for waves 1 to 7 (1994 to 2000), Irish family compositions are firstly described and compared with four other European countries: Belgium, France, Italy and the Netherlands. Secondly, a life event approach is used to clarify what factors affect marital dissolution for women in these countries such as martial duration, employment, presence of children and age at first marriage. While Irish households had larger family sizes, there were no significant differences for the risk of marital separation for Irish women relative to women in other European countries. Despite Irish demographic changes occuring much later than in other western European countries, by the turn of the 21st century, Irish family composition was similar to the rest of Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Heffernan, Catherine Mary, 2005. "Gender, Cohabitation and Martial Dissolution: Are changes in Irish family composition typical of European countries?," IRISS Working Paper Series 2005-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
  • Handle: RePEc:irs:iriswp:2005-03
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    File URL: http://iriss.ceps.lu/documents/irisswp54.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Vincent Hildebrand & Philippe Kerm, 2009. "Income inequality and self-rated health status: Evidence from the european community household panel," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 46(4), pages 805-825, November.
    2. Verbelen, Bart, 2006. "Is Taking a Pill a Day Good for Health Expenditures? Evidence from a Cross Section Time Series Analysis of 19 OECD Countries from 1970 – 2000," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-01, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    3. Pérez-Mayo, Jesús, 2004. "Consistent poverty dynamics in Spain," IRISS Working Paper Series 2004-09, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    4. Kwiatkowska-Ciotucha, Dorota & Zaluska, Urszula, 2005. "Job Satisfaction as an Assessment Criterion of Labor Market Policy Efficiency. Lesson for Poland from International Experience," IRISS Working Paper Series 2005-04, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    5. Heffernan, Catherine Mary, 2005. "Gender, Cohabitation and Martial Dissolution: Are changes in Irish family composition typical of European countries?," IRISS Working Paper Series 2005-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    6. Voynov, Ivan, 2005. "Household Income Composition and Household Goods," IRISS Working Paper Series 2005-02, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    7. Yu, Keming & Van Kerm, Philippe & Zhang, Jin, 2004. "Bayesian quantile regression: An application to the wage distribution in 1990s Britain," IRISS Working Paper Series 2004-10, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
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    Cited by:

    1. Van Kerm, Philippe, 2006. "Comparisons of income mobility profiles," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-03, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    2. Voicu, Malina & Voicu, Bogdan & Strapcova, Katarina, 2006. "Housework and gender inequality across Europe," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-11, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    3. Sirovatka, Tomas & Valentova, Marie, 2006. "The Legitimacy of Redistribution: the Czech Republic in International Comparison," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-12, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    4. Fusco, Alessio & Dickes, Paul, 2006. "Rasch Model and Multidimensional Poverty Measurement," IRISS Working Paper Series 2006-02, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.

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    Keywords

    marital dissolution ; family composition ; cohabitation ; Ireland;

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