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Reassessing the Link between Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Instability

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  • Steffen Reinhold, Ph.D.

    (Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA))

Abstract

It has been found that premarital cohabitation is positively correlated with the likelihood of marital dissolution in the U.S. To reassess this link, I estimate proportional hazard models of marital dissolution for first marriages using pooled data from three surveys of the NSFG 1988, 1995, and 2002 and demonstrate that the positive relationship between premarital cohabitation and marital instability has weakened for more recent birth and marriage cohorts. Using multiple marital outcomes for a person to account for one source of unobserved heterogeneity, panel models suggest that cohabitation is not selective of individuals with higher risk of marital dissolution and may be a stabilizing factor for higher parity marriages.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy in its series MEA discussion paper series with number 09178.

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Date of creation: 17 Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:mea:meawpa:09178

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Related research

Keywords: Cohabitation; Marriage; Marital Stability; Self-selection; Duration Models;

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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. Jay Teachman, 2002. "Stability across cohorts in divorce risk factors," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 331-351, May.
  3. Sheela Kennedy & Larry L. Bumpass, 2008. "Cohabitation and children's living arrangements," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(47), pages 1663-1692, September.
  4. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  5. Robert Moffitt & Robert Reville & Anne Winkler, 1998. "Beyond single mothers: Cohabitation and marriage in the AFDC program," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 259-278, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Marion Leturcq, 2011. "Would you civil union me?," PSE Working Papers halshs-00628642, HAL.
  2. Marion Leturcq, 2011. "Competing marital contracts? The marriage after civil union in France," Working Papers halshs-00655585, HAL.
  3. Jennifer A. Holland, 2013. "Love, marriage, then the baby carriage? Marriage timing and childbearing in Sweden," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(11), pages 275-306, August.
  4. Steve Laufer & Ahu Gemici, 2011. "Marriage and Cohabitation," 2011 Meeting Papers 1152, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. LETURCQ, Marion, . "Will you civil union me? Taxation and civil unions in France," CORE Discussion Papers RP -2445, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

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