First union formation in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania: Patterns across countries and gender
Kalev Katus, Allan Puur, Asta Põldma and Luule Sakkeus
This article examines the changes in first union formation in the Baltic countries between the late 1960s and early 1990s, in the context of societal and family-level gender relations. The analyses are conducted using microdata from the European Family and Fertility Surveys program. Our results indicate that in Estonia and Latvia the shift from direct marriage to cohabitation started well before the fall of socialist regime. Event-history models provide support for a hypothesised association between union formation and gender systems, with Lithuania showing more traditional features in both respects, possibly due to long-standing cultural differences between the countries.