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Do Children Stabilize Marriages?

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  • Svarer, Michael
  • Verner, Mette

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Abstract

In this paper we study the relationship between fertility and divorce. The potential endogeneity of fertility in divorce decisions is explicitly addressed by modelling fertility and divorce jointly. We apply the "timing-of-event" method (Abbring & van den Berg (2002)) to identify the causal effect of births on the divorce hazard. We show that couples who are less prone to divorce are more prone to invest in children, and therefore one might (mistakenly) conclude that children tend to stabilize marriages. However, when correcting for endogeneity of fertility, we conclude that children themselves do not have a positive effect on marriage duration.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series Economics Working Papers with number 2003-3.

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Length: 28
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Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2003-3

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Web page: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/

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Keywords: Marriage; Divorce Children;

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References

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  1. Jacobsen, Joyce P. & PearceIII, James Wishart & Rosenbloom, Joshua L., 2001. "The effects of child-bearing on women's marital status: using twin births as a natural experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 133-138, January.
  2. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S293-329, January.
  3. Michael Rosholm & Michael Svarer, . "Structurally Dependent Competing Risks," Economics Working Papers 2000-11, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  4. Michael Svarer, 2004. "Is Your Love in Vain? Another Look at Premarital Cohabitation and Divorce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  5. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1994. "A Joint Model of Marital Childbearing and Marital Disruption," Papers 94-16, RAND - Reprint Series.
  6. Boheim, Rene & Ermisch, John, 2001. " Partnership Dissolution in the UK--The Role of Economic Circumstances," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 63(2), pages 197-208, May.
  7. Jaap H. Abbring & Gerard J. van den Berg, 2003. "The Nonparametric Identification of Treatment Effects in Duration Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1491-1517, 09.
  8. Vuri, Daniela, 2002. "Propensity Score Estimates of the Effect of Fertility on Marital Dissolution," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 180, Royal Economic Society.
  9. Aassve, Arnstein & Burgess, Simon & Propper, Carol, 1997. "'I Vont To Be Alone' Transitions to Independent Living, Marriage and Divorce Among Young Americans," CEPR Discussion Papers 1715, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
  11. Heckman, James J & Walker, James R, 1990. "The Relationship between Wages and Income and the Timing and Spacing of Births: Evidence from Swedish Longitudinal Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1411-41, November.
  12. Svarer, Michael, . "Determinants of Divorce in Denmark," Economics Working Papers 2002-19, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  13. Lillard, Lee A., 1993. "Simultaneous equations for hazards : Marriage duration and fertility timing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1-2), pages 189-217, March.
  14. Gary S. Becker & Elisabeth M. Landes & Robert T. Michael, 1976. "Economics of Marital Instability," NBER Working Papers 0153, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Svarer, Michael, . "Determinants of Divorce in Denmark," Economics Working Papers 2002-19, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.

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