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Grandma was Right: Why Cohabitation Undermines Relational Satisfaction, But Is Increasing Anyway


  • Bruce Wydick


This paper uses a game theoretic model to explain empirical research which has revealed higher relational satisfaction among married couples than cohabiting couples, as well as among married couples who did not cohabit before marriage. Despite these findings, in recent decades cohabitation rates have dramatically increased in both Europe and the United States. Instrumental variables estimations on data from 28 industrialized countries and 50 U.S. states show cohabitation strongly correlated with increases in women's labor force participation, where a 10 percent increase in women's labor force participation results in a 6.4 to 14.6 percent increase in cohabitation. Copyright 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd..

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  • Bruce Wydick, 2007. "Grandma was Right: Why Cohabitation Undermines Relational Satisfaction, But Is Increasing Anyway," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 617-645, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:60:y:2007:i:4:p:617-645

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cornes,Richard & Sandler,Todd, 1996. "The Theory of Externalities, Public Goods, and Club Goods," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521477185, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Helmut Rainer & Ian Smith, 2012. "Education, Communication and Wellbeing: An Application to Sexual Satisfaction," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 581-598, November.
    2. Chirvi, Malte, 2017. "Arbeiten Frauen aufgrund des Ehegattensplittings weniger? Ein quasi-experimenteller Ansatz für Deutschland," arqus Discussion Papers in Quantitative Tax Research 217, arqus - Arbeitskreis Quantitative Steuerlehre.
    3. Yurko, Anna, 2012. "Costly Divorce and Marriage Rates," MPRA Paper 37810, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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