Marital Intentions and Realization around the Great Recession in France, Netherlands and Hungary

Lívia Murinkó , Hungarian Demographic Research Institute

Despite the persistence of the institution of marriage, analyses on marital intentions and their realization are relatively rare, especially in an international comparison. Moreover, most studies that look into the demographic consequences of the Great Recession concentrate on behaviour (often on fertility) and only few of them use individual-level panel data. Previous studies found reduced marriage rates and postponement as a result of the recession. However, the question still remains: how did the recession affect marital intentions and their realization? Did socioeconomic differences in marital intentions increase during the economic crisis? In order to answer these questions, we use data from the three waves of the Generations and Gender Survey, supplemented with data from the fourth wave of the Netherlands Kinship Panel Survey and the fifth wave of the Turning Points of the Life Course Panel Survey for Hungary. Our analysis examines short-term marital intentions and their realization among cohabiting respondents aged 20–49 before, during and after the Great Recession. Results show that the level of marital intentions indeed decreased during the Great Recession in Hungary and France but did not change in the Netherlands. We found a positive educational gradient and a lasting negative impact of the Great Recession on the marital intentions of low-educated respondents in Hungary. However, there seem to be no educational differences in any examined period in the Netherlands and France. In Hungary, the realization of intentions decreased and postponement increased during the crisis, while the results are the opposite for the other two countries.

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 Presented in Session 97. Economic Precariousness and the Family