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Assortative mating among unmarried parents: Implications for ability to pay child support

Listed author(s):
  • Dana Glei


    (Office of Population Research and Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Princeton University, 21 Prospect Avenue, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA)

  • Sara S. McLanahan


    (Bendheim Center for Research on Child Well-Being, Princeton University, 21 Prospect Avenue, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA)

  • Irwin Garfinkel


    (School of Social Work, Columbia University, 622 W. 113th Street, New York, NY 10025, USA)

Registered author(s):

    Assortative mating is of interest to both theoretical and applied social scientists. Previous research is based almost entirely on married couples and parents. In this paper we use data from the NSFG to examine assortative mating among unmarried parents in the US and to examine the robustness of estimates of nonresident fathers' income based on assortative mating assumptions. We find that never married parents are similar, though not identical, to married parents in their choice of partners. White unmarried women are much more likely to have a child with a non-white male than white married women. On the other hand, unmarried women are more likely than married women to have a child with a more educated male.

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    Article provided by Springer & European Society for Population Economics in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

    Volume (Year): 15 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 417-432

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:3:p:417-432
    Note: Received: 31 May 2000/Accepted: 2 January 2001
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