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Does cohabitation prior to marriage raise the risk of marital dissolution and does this effect vary geographically?

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Author Info

  • Paul J. Boyle

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

  • Hill Kulu

    (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany)

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    Abstract

    A number of studies show that premarital cohabitation increases the risk of subsequent marital dissolution. Some argue that this is a consequence of selection effects and that once these are controlled for premarital cohabitation has no effect on dissolution. We extend this research by examining whether the effects of premarital cohabitation on marital dissolution vary across settlements within a country. Using retrospective event-history data from Austria, we model equations for union formation and dissolution jointly to control for unobserved selectivity of cohabiters or non-cohabiters. Our results show that those who cohabit prior to marriage have a higher risk of marital dissolution. However, once selection effects are controlled for, the risks of marital dissolution for those who cohabit prior to marriage are significantly lower than for those who marry directly. We show that strong selection effects relate to both cohabitation and direct marriage and these effects are consistent across all settlements.

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    File URL: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/papers/working/wp-2006-051.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany in its series MPIDR Working Papers with number WP-2006-051.

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    Length: 28 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:dem:wpaper:wp-2006-051

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    Web page: http://www.demogr.mpg.de/

    Related research

    Keywords: Austria; divorce; event history analysis; rural areas; urban areas;

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    References

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    1. Magdalena M. Muszynska & Hill Kulu, 2006. "Migration and union dissolution in a changing socio-economic context: the case of Russia," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2006-032, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    2. Clarkberg, M. & Stolzenberg, R.M. & Waite, L.J., 1993. "Attitudes, Values, and the Entrance into Cohabitational Unions," Papers, RAND - Labor and Population Program 93-40, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
    3. 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).
    4. Mike Murphy, 2000. "Editorial: Cohabitation in Britain," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 163(2), pages 123-126.
    5. Gunnar Andersson, 2003. "Dissolution of unions in Europe: a comparative overview," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2003-004, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    6. Jan M. Hoem & Alexia Prskawetz & Gerda R. Neyer, 2001. "Autonomy or conservative adjustment? The effect of public policies and educational attainment on third births in Austria," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2001-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    7. T. Balakrishnan & K. Rao & Evelyne Lapierre-Adamcyk & Karol Krotki, 1987. "A Hazard Model Analysis Of The Covariates Of Marriage Dissolution In Canada," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 395-406, August.
    8. Fiona Steele & Constantinos Kallis & Heather Joshi, 2006. "The formation and outcomes of cohabiting and marital partnerships in early adulthood: the role of previous partnership experience," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 169(4), pages 757-779.
    9. Paul J. Boyle & Hill Kulu & Thomas Cooke & Vernon Gayle & Clara H. Mulder, 2006. "The effect of moving on union dissolution," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2006-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    10. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Cohabitation in Great Britain: not for long, but here to stay," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 163(2), pages 153-171.
    11. Clare Holdsworth & B Jane Elliott, 2001. "The Timing of Family Formation in Britain and Spain," Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, Sociological Research Online, vol. 6(2), pages holdsworth.
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    Cited by:
    1. Magdalena Muszyńska & Hill Kulu, 2007. "Migration and union dissolution in a changing socio-economic context," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 17(27), pages 803-820, December.
    2. Magdalena M. Muszynska & Hill Kulu, 2006. "Migration and union dissolution in a changing socio-economic context: the case of Russia," MPIDR Working Papers, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany WP-2006-032, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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