Volume 40 - Article 34 | Pages 975–1014  

Housing consequences of divorce and separation in a 'super home ownership' regime: The case of Hungary

By Lívia Murinkó

This article is part of the Special Collection 27 "Separation, Divorce, and Residential Mobility in a Comparative Perspective"


Background: Partnership dissolution is a major reason for residential mobility and migration for former partners. Moving is more resource-intensive in a 'super home ownership' housing regime like Hungary and may increase the vulnerability of people with low socioeconomic status. This analysis is the first attempt to study the interrelationship between partnership transitions and housing dynamics in a Central and Eastern European country.

Objective: We analyse how people adjust their housing situation and place of residence to their changing family circumstances after partnership dissolution in Hungary.

Methods: We study change in partnership status and housing between 2008 and 2012 using the Hungarian Generations and Gender Survey (n = 5,408) with descriptive analysis and logistic regression models. The role of cohabitation and marriage, coresidence with parents, housing tenure, and socioeconomic status receives special attention.

Results: Former couples move more often after divorce than separation from cohabitation, but divorcees who lived with their parents before union dissolution tend to stay. For men, returning to the parental household is a common solution. Both high and low socioeconomic status may increase the probability of moving after separation or divorce.

Conclusions: Home ownership is a motivating factor for moving after divorce in Hungary. Parental household provides an important ‘safety net’ and in some cases a long-term solution for couples in an inflexible housing market where the system of public housing is missing and private rental is expensive.

Contribution: We emphasise the importance of differentiating between the dissolution of marriages and cohabitations and considering coresidence with parents both as the origin and destination of moves.

Author's Affiliation

  • Lívia Murinkó - Népességtudományi Kutatóintézet (Hungarian Demographic Research Institute), Hungary EMAIL

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

The effect of education on second births in Hungary: A test of the time-squeeze, self-selection and partner-effect hypotheses
Volume 28 - Article 1

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