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Dondena Seminar Series


Lloc: Universitat de Bocconi, Milà

Hora: 00:00 - 00:00

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Conferència convidada:
Albert Esteve.- Lifetime exposure to coresident kin across societies.



Most people coreside with other kin in private households while others live alone. Exposure to coresident kin and solo living varies noticeably across societies. Scholars have long theorized about the role of modernization and cultural change for living arrangements, suggesting a trend toward the nuclearization of households (coresidence only with primary kin) or towards solo living as societies attain higher levels of development. Yet, there is little empirical evidence about variations in living arrangements across societies and about how such variations unfold at different levels of development (measured with HDI). Here, we address these fundamental questions. Using IPUMS census microdata for 279 samples and 90 countries, we develop a new metric for assessing the lifetime a person can expect to coreside with different kin or alone assuming exposure rates, from birth to death, to the living arrangements observed in a given year. Results show that lifetime exposures to coresidence with primary and non-primary kin and to solo living differs substantially across societies, with exposures to primary kin alone and to solo living substantially higher at higher levels of HDI. They also reveal a sustained decline in coresidence with non-primary kin and others nearly everywhere, supporting the idea of a progressive nuclearization of family life. This trend is most pronounced at medium levels of HDI. At very high levels, however, lifetime exposures to coresidence with primary kin alone are stalling or are in decline in favor of greater exposure to solo living and, rather unexpectedly, to even greater life-time exposures to non-primary kin and others, implying an underlying trend towards more complex living arrangements, as best exemplified by the US case. We suggest different interpretations for these results