Disagreements about the money before and during the economic recession in officially registered and consensual unions in European countries

Kadri Rootalu, University of Tartu
Mare Ainsaar, University of Tartu

The current poster analyses changes in family quality in terms of frequency of disagreements about money before and during the economic recession in 18 European countries and in two different family types: in officially registered marriages and in consensual unions. The existing research suggests different ways how the economic recession might have an effect on partnership quality and longevity of partnerships. First it might be expected that economic problems might raise the risk of family problems and divorces, on the other hand difficulties could also bond the partners more tightly together and strengthen the family bonds. The current study examines the two explanations and more precisely looks at possible antecedents of divorce, namely the frequency of conflicts about money between the partners. The data for analyses come from the 2004 and 2010 waves of the European Social Survey. The results show that in most of the countries the frequency of disagreements with the partner about the money increased during 2004-2010. The most extreme example is Greece. Differences in the frequency of disagreements by the type of the family can also be brought out: cohabiting couples tend to have more disagreements than married couples, but the effect is also dependent on the demographic composition of the family groups. Various other characteristics have an effect on the frequency of disagreements about the money in individual level, as well as and country level characteristics explain the change in country level.

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Presented in Poster Session 1

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