Married versus Cohabiting: Comparing the Determinants of Formal and Informal Unions in Brazil

Paula Miranda-Ribeiro, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais and CEDEPLAR
Carolina S. Costa, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

The proportion of Brazilians in union has not changed considerably in the last 40 years. However, the types of unions Brazilians engage in have changed dramatically as legal marriages have decreased, whereas consensual unions have increased. In this paper, we present an overview of types of unions and highlight several characteristics found in the literature for developed countries such as age, education, race, socioeconomic status, rural versus urban, and country region. These factors have been associated with the increase in informal unions elsewhere. Yet very little is known about this issue in Brazil. Based on census data from 1970, 1980, 1991 and 2000, we investigate the determinants of formal and informal unions in Brazil over time using logistic regression models. This question is of special relevance for societies such as Brazil, where the proportion of couples in informal union is high and spread across age and educational groups.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Union Formation and Dissolution and Parents' Living Arrangements