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psc brown bag iconFamily Formation and Fertility in Central and Eastern Europe: Sweeping Changes and Driving Forces

Dimiter Philipov (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna Institute of Demography)

04/21/2008, at noon in room 6050 ISR-Thompson.

The societal transformation in Central and Eastern Europe during the last two decades was accompanied by sweeping demographic changes, and particularly rise in cohabitation, decline or postponement of marriages and births. Demographers have looked for explanations of these trends in probably all available relevant theoretical approaches, to mention two celebrated ones, related to economy and ideational shifts. Less attention has been paid to the diversity of the region though. I will use newly available GGS (Generations and Gender surveys) data for several countries from the region to describe recent trends in entry into unions and births in detail, and will discuss the available theoretical approaches in relation to sub-regions. In particular, I will check to what extent the imaginary straight line from St. Petersburg to Dubrovnik, which divides Orthodox from Catholic or Protestant Christianity, also supports a demographic division of the region. It is expected that the effect of ideational changes will dominate to the west of this line, and the effect of economic change dominates to the east, although the demographic trends may look similar.


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