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A Dirty Look From The Neighbors. Does Living In A Religious Neighborhood Prevent Cohabitation?

Author

Listed:
  • Anna Baranowska-Rataj

    (Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics, Sociology Department, Umea University)

  • Monika Mynarska

    (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyñski University in Warsaw, Institute of Psychology)

  • Daniele Vignoli

    (University of Florence, Department of Statistics “G. Parenti”)

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to provide insights into how religion influences the family formation process. In particular, we analyze the impact of a neighborhood context religiosity on an individual decision to enter cohabitation. We use the data on two European societies where secularization and individualization have not yet reached momentum: Italy and Poland. We combine the empirical evidence from both qualitative and quantitative research. The qualitative research provides an in-depth understanding of the mechanisms through which the neighborhood may affect the individual decisions on union formation. By means of quantitative multilevel analyses we test how strong these mechanisms are in the general population. The qualitative analysis identified several mechanisms related, among others, to a lack of social recognition for cohabiting couples and to ostracism in the neighborhood. The quantitative outcomes confirmed that individuals living in social environment where people are very religious tend to make life choices consistent with the norms and beliefs supported by the dominating religion, even if they are not very religious themselves. Importantly, after controlling for territorial characteristics, the role of neighborhood-specific religiosity weakened in the magnitude in Poland and lost its statistical power in Italy. This may indicate that the impact of religion on observed union formation behaviors is indirect: It does seem to influence observed family behaviors through the social pressure to get married and traditions, rather than through the force of Catholic dogmas.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna Baranowska-Rataj & Monika Mynarska & Daniele Vignoli, 2014. "A Dirty Look From The Neighbors. Does Living In A Religious Neighborhood Prevent Cohabitation?," Working Papers 71, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isd:wpaper:71
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Raffaele Guetto & Nazareno Panichella, 2019. "Family arrangements and children’s educational outcomes: Heterogeneous penalties in upper-secondary school," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 40(35), pages 1015-1046.
    2. Elena Pirani & Daniele Vignoli, 2014. "Are spouses more satisfied than cohabitors? A survey over the last twenty years in Italy," Econometrics Working Papers Archive 2014_09, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
    3. Daniele Vignoli & Silvana Salvini, 2014. "Religion and union formation in Italy: Catholic precepts, social pressure, and tradition," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 31(35), pages 1079-1106.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cohabitation; union formation; religiosity; social pressure;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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