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Do Children Stabilize Marriages?

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Author Info

  • Svarer, Michael

    (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus)

  • Verner, Mette

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

Abstract

In this paper we study the relationship between fertility behavior and the process of marriage duration. The potential endogeneity of fertility on marriage behavior is taken into account by modeling 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 the selectivity bias arising from the fertility decision, we conclude that children themselves do not have a positive effect on marriage duration.

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File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/WPER/03-4_mv.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 03-4.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2003_004

Note: Forthcoming in Journal of Population Economics
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Postal: The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark
Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx
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Keywords: Marriage; divorce; children;

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References

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  1. 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).
  2. Michael Rosholm & Michael Svarer, . "Structurally Dependent Competing Risks," Economics Working Papers 2000-11, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  3. Vuri, Daniela, 2002. "Propensity Score Estimates of the Effect of Fertility on Marital Dissolution," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 180, Royal Economic Society.
  4. Svarer, Michael, . "Determinants of Divorce in Denmark," Economics Working Papers 2002-19, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  5. 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.
  6. Lillard, L.A. & Waite, L.J., 1994. "A Joint Model of Marital Childbearing and Marital Disruption," Papers 94-16, RAND - Reprint Series.
  7. Yoram Weiss & Robert J. Willis, . "Match Quality, New Information and Marital Dissolution," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 95-13, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  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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