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Should We Get Married? The Effect of Parents’ Marriage on Out-of-Wedlock Children

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Author Info

  • Shirley H. Liu

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • Frank Heiland

    ()
    (Department of Economics and Center of Demography and Population Health, Florida State University)

Abstract

Using a representative sample of children all born to unwed parents drawn from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS), we investigate whether marriage after childbirth has a causal effect on early child cognitive ability, using a treatment outcome approach to account for selfselection into marriage. Comparing children with similar background characteristics and parental mate-selection patterns who differ only in terms of whether their parents marry after childbirth, marriage between unwed biological parents leads to a four point increase in their child’s Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) score at age three relative to children whose parents remain unmarried.

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File URL: http://moya.bus.miami.edu/~sliu/Research_files/marriage8.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0611.

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Length: 49 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming: In revision
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:0611

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Postal: P.O. Box 248126, Coral Gables, FL 33124-6550
Phone: (305) 284-5540
Fax: (305) 284-2985
Web page: http://www.bus.miami.edu/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/economics/index.html
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Related research

Keywords: Marriage; Out-of-Wedlock Childbearing; Child Cognitive Development; Propensity Score Matching;

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References

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  1. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "A Theory of Marriage: Part II," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 11-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Chan, Kwok Ho & Fung, Ka Wai Terence, 2013. "The Effect of Social Fathers on the Cognitive Skills of Out-of-Wedlock Children," MPRA Paper 52875, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Shirley H. Liu & Frank Heiland, 2007. "New Estimates on the Effect of Parental Separation on Child Health," Working Papers 0719, University of Miami, Department of Economics.

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