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How Do Cohabiting Couples With Children Spend Their Money?

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  • Thomas DeLeire
  • Ariel Kalil

Abstract

Cohabitation is an increasingly prevalent living arrangement in the United States. Although the effects of living in a cohabiting arrangement on child well-being are not fully understood, the literature on children growing up in cohabiting families suggests that they have poorer developmental outcomes than do those growing up in married-parent families or in single-parent families. We use the Consumer Expenditure Survey to see if cohabiting couples with children spend their income on a different set of goods (i.e., have a different distribution of expenditure) than either married parents or single parents. Using a variety of analytical methods, we find that cohabiting couples spend a substantially larger share of their total expenditure on alcohol and tobacco than do either married-parent families or single parents. Cohabiting couples with children also spend less on health care and less on education than do married parents.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago in its series Working Papers with number 0204.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0204

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Keywords: cohabitation; children; income expenditure; money;

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Cited by:
  1. Shirley H. Liu & Frank Heiland, 2007. "Should We Get Married? The Effect of Parents' Marriage on Out-of-Wedlock Children," Working Papers 0720, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

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