A Dirty Look from the Neighbors. Does Living in a Religious Community Prevent Cohabitation?

Anna Baranowska-Rataj, Warsaw School of Economics
Monika Mynarska, Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University
Daniele Vignoli, University of Florence

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 community context religiosity on an individual decision to enter cohabitation, and disentangle the community effect from the effect of an individual religiosity. 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 on the mechanisms of how the local community may affect the individual decisions on union formation. By means of quantitative multilevel analyses we can test how strong these mechanisms are in the general population. Overall, we aim to investigate whether people, who live in religious communities are less likely to cohabit and tend to marry directly, even if they are not very religious themselves.

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Presented in Session 8: Culture, Religion and Families