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

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  • 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 and a potential outcome approach to account for self-selection into marriage, we investigate whether marriage after childbearing has a causal effect on early child development. Comparing children with similar background characteristics and parental mate-selection patterns who differ only in terms of whether their parents marry after childbirth, we find that marriage after childbirth significantly increases a child’s early cognitive performance but there is no evidence that it affects child asthma risk or child behavioral outcomes.

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File URL: http://moya.bus.miami.edu/~sliu/Research_files/marriage23.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0720.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in "Casual Analysis in Population Studies: Concepts, Methods, Applications", European Studies of Population
Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:0720

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Related research

Keywords: Marriage after Childbearing; Child Outcomes; Propensity Score Matching;

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References

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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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