Multilevel Heterogeneous Diffusion Model of First Partnership in Canada and the U.S.

Jianlin Niu, Chinese Academy of Social Science
Rajulton Fernando, University of Western Ontario

The United States and Canada have witnessed tremendous family transformations during the last five decades. Yet, appreciable regional variations persist concerning their relative positions in the partnership transformation process (Heuveline & Timberlake 2004; Kiernan 2002; Liefbroer & Dourleijn 2006), which provides an important opportunity to examine the mechanism underlying the observed pattern of first partnership transformation. In this study, I build a two-level discrete-time event history model to examine the cluster effects of region and cohort on individual-level diffusion of first partnership formation. It is found that more homogenous settings facilitate the diffusion of declining marriage and rising cohabitation. Moreover, for historical and contemporary differences in cultural and socioeconomic developments, substantial path dependency underlies the first partnership transformations across regions in these two North American neighbors.

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Presented in Poster Session 2