Family diversity in France, the Russian Federation, and East and West Germany: overview on living arrangements and living conditions
In: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) (Ed.): How generations and gender shape demographic change: towards policies based on better knowledge, 33–56
New York/ Geneva, United Nations (2009)
This paper provides a comparison of living arrangements and living conditions of families in France, Russia East and West Germany. Furthermore, it analyses how mothers’ living arrangements and employment patterns influence the economic situation of families. Data comes from the first wave of the Generations and Gender Survey. While France and East Germany are very similar in terms of maternal employment and non-marital childbearing, West Germany displays rather ‘traditional’ family structures. Russia stands out in this comparison since unmarried mothers are much more likely to be divorced or widowed than it is the case in other countries where unmarried parenthood is more often single motherhood. In all cases, unmarried mothers are economically more vulnerable than married mothers. However, it is also important to distinguish cohabiting women from women who do not live with their partners. Apart from West Germany, we do not find differences in economic well-being between cohabiting and married mothers. Single women who do not have a partner are at a disadvantage all along the way. However, labor force participation is an important ingredient in determining how single mothers fare economically in all four regions.
Keywords: France, Germany, Russian Federation, comparative analysis, demographic surveys, economic conditions, event history analysis, family forms, family policies, female employment, living conditions