The Living Arrangements of New Unmarried Mothers
AbstractWe use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to describe the living arrangements of new, unwed mothers and to examine the determinants of those living arrangements. Our analysis goes beyond previous studies in several ways. First, we examine a wide diversity of living arrangements for a homogenous sample of recent, unwed mothers. Second, our analysis of the determinants of single mothers? living arrangements includes information on fathers? as well as mothers? characteristics. We also have data on the quality of the parents? relationship. Previous studies have lacked information on the characteristics of non-resident fathers and couple relationships, both of which are likely to affect decisions about living arrangements. We find that the characteristics of both partners have significant and, sometimes different, effects on the living arrangements of single mothers. In addition, women who reported being in a high quality, supportive relationship were much more likely to cohabit. These findings highlight the importance of looking beyond strictly human capital explanations of marriage, cohabitation, and living arrangements. Emotional capital may be equally, if not more important, than human capital to the development of successful relationships.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research in its series JCPR Working Papers with number 262.
Date of creation: 08 Jan 2002
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This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2002-01-22 (All new papers)
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