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Should We Get Married? The Effect Of Parents' Marriage On Out‐Of‐Wedlock Children

  • SHIRLEY H. LIU
  • FRANK HEILAND

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://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1465-7295.2010.00248.x
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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Economic Inquiry.

Volume (Year): 50 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (01)
Pages: 17-38

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:50:y:2012:i:1:p:17-38
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