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How similar are cohabitation and marriage? The spectrum of legal approaches to cohabitation across Western Europe

How similar are cohabitation and marriage? The spectrum of legal approaches to cohabitation across Western Europe
How similar are cohabitation and marriage? The spectrum of legal approaches to cohabitation across Western Europe
Although cohabitation and childbearing within cohabitation have increased in Europe over recent decades, the variation across Europe remains remarkably wide. Most studies on union formation have not explicitly addressed the role of state policies in the development of cohabitation or discussed how countries have responded to changes in union formation by passing legislation. Here we discuss historical and theoretical issues relevant to the relationship between state policies and union formation and describe policies relating to cohabitation and marriage in nine Western European countries. Drawing on secondary sources and legal documents, we examine the quantity of regulations that mention cohabitation and the approach to cohabitation in 19 policy dimensions. We then place the countries along a continuum, from those that have equalized cohabitation and marriage to those that only regulate marriage. As a whole, this overview raises questions about the changing institution of marriage, as well as the increasing institutionalization of cohabitation.
0098-7921
435-467
Perelli-Harris, Brienna
9d3d6b25-d710-480b-8677-534d58ebe9ed
Sánchez Gassen, Nora
f887a50a-6530-4753-9362-3091704217c0
Perelli-Harris, Brienna
9d3d6b25-d710-480b-8677-534d58ebe9ed
Sánchez Gassen, Nora
f887a50a-6530-4753-9362-3091704217c0

Perelli-Harris, Brienna and Sánchez Gassen, Nora (2012) How similar are cohabitation and marriage? The spectrum of legal approaches to cohabitation across Western Europe. Population and Development Review, 38 (3), 435-467. (doi:10.1111/j.1728-4457.2012.00511.x).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Although cohabitation and childbearing within cohabitation have increased in Europe over recent decades, the variation across Europe remains remarkably wide. Most studies on union formation have not explicitly addressed the role of state policies in the development of cohabitation or discussed how countries have responded to changes in union formation by passing legislation. Here we discuss historical and theoretical issues relevant to the relationship between state policies and union formation and describe policies relating to cohabitation and marriage in nine Western European countries. Drawing on secondary sources and legal documents, we examine the quantity of regulations that mention cohabitation and the approach to cohabitation in 19 policy dimensions. We then place the countries along a continuum, from those that have equalized cohabitation and marriage to those that only regulate marriage. As a whole, this overview raises questions about the changing institution of marriage, as well as the increasing institutionalization of cohabitation.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 10 September 2012
Published date: September 2012
Organisations: Social Statistics & Demography

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 337012
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/337012
ISSN: 0098-7921
PURE UUID: 1c0f27a0-52c0-4812-b23e-1bbb80511879
ORCID for Brienna Perelli-Harris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8234-4007

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Date deposited: 16 Apr 2012 09:39
Last modified: 01 Oct 2019 00:40

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