Mi casa es tu casa: Investigating Cohabitation and Inflation Rates in Gran Buenos Aires

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Rice University

Over the past few decades, cohabitation in Latin America has increased. The rise of cohabitation, defined as a non-married couple living together in one household, has been attributed to cultural shifts in openness to alternative methods of family formation, economic hardships, and the belief that cohabitation can serve as a logical precursor to marriage. Studies on cohabitation have not conclusively attributed a single cause to this trend; however, I theorize that the rise of cohabitation in Latin America occurs primarily because of economic conditions. Given the rapid inflation and increasing cost of living in Gran Buenos Aires (GBA), I investigate cohabitation in relation to the current socioeconomic context. Using individual and household datasets collected by el Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos (INDEC) on a quarterly and monthly basis from 2017-2023, I employ a quantitative approach to evaluate how rising inflation in Argentina affects residents of GBA. From 2017-2023, the quarterly inflation rate maintained similar trends as the quarterly cohabitation rate. Binomial logistic regression finds that inflation was not a significant predictor of cohabitation; however, when evaluating households with only two residents, there was a 1.1% increased likelihood they were cohabiting. In two-person households, across all five age groups, there was a significantly positive relationship, indicating as inflation rose so did the prevalence of cohabitation amongst two-person households across age. Future research should continue to investigate cohabitation in relation to economics, as it informs how and when families form and the way economic hardship affects families. More should be done to include qualitative methodologies and additional measures alongside inflation indicating economic stability to create a more comprehensive measure of economic circumstances influencing family formation and cost-sharing.

Senior Honors Thesis
Cohabitation, Latin America, Argentina, Inflation, Economic Sociology, Buenos Aires, Family Formation, Cost-Sharing

Frizzell, Brendan. "Mi casa es tu casa: Investigating Cohabitation and Inflation Rates in Gran Buenos Aires.” Undergraduate honors thesis, Rice University, 2024. https://doi.org/10.25611/M21T-K990.

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