New Patterns of Household Formation in Eastern and Central Europe: Economic Crisis or Ideational Drift?

Ron Lesthaeghe, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Johan Surkyn, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Many Eastern and Central European nations have experienced rapid demographic change in fertility and household formation patterns during the 1990s. Was this solely the byproduct of their economic crises or has there been a cultural component at work as well? Use is made of the 1999-2000 European Values Surveys for these countries to find out how individuals in various household positions are being sorted according to values orientations. Over 200 items are being tested for their discriminating power with respect to the sorting over the 8 household positions. Subsequently, correspondence analysis is used to plot the distances between the household positions and the net effects of the value items (net = after controls for age, age squared, gender, education and social stratification). The outcomes show a strong resemblance with the Western European ones, which lends support that similar ideational mechanisms are operating in Central and Eastern Europe as well.

Presented in Session 54: The Implications of Social Change for Family Attitudes and Behaviors: An International Panel