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Is Your Love in Vain? Another Look at Premarital Cohabitation and Divorce

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  • Michael Svarer

Abstract

In this paper we provide an empirical investigation of the association between premarital cohabitation and subsequent risk of divorce. Theoretically couples who cohabit before marriage should have a lower subsequent risk of divorce since cohabitation enables you to gather information about the match quality, and only good matches evolve into marriage. However, a considerable number of papers have come to the complete opposite conclusion. The counter-intuitive result has been justified with self-selection of cohabitants as the main argument. In the present paper, we provide new evidence concerning the relationship between premarital cohabitation and divorce.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Svarer, 2004. "Is Your Love in Vain? Another Look at Premarital Cohabitation and Divorce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:39:y:2004:i:2:p523-535
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    2. Lee Lillard & Michael Brien & Linda Waite, 1995. "Premarital cohabitation and subsequent marital," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(3), pages 437-457, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Svarer, Michael, "undated". "Determinants of Divorce in Denmark," Economics Working Papers 2002-19, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    2. Gautier, Pieter A. & Svarer, Michael & Teulings, Coen, 2005. "Marriage and the City," IZA Discussion Papers 1491, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Pieter Gautier & Michael Svarer & Coen Teulings, 2005. "Testing for Additive Outliers in Seasonally Integrated Time Series," Economics Working Papers 2005-01, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    4. Audrey Light & Yoshiaki Omori, 2013. "Determinants of Long-Term Unions: Who Survives the “Seven Year Itch”?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), pages 851-891.
    5. Nielsen, Helena Skyt & Svarer, Michael, 2006. "Educational Homogamy: Preferences or Opportunities?," IZA Discussion Papers 2271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Lundberg, Shelly, 2005. "Men and islands: Dealing with the family in empirical labor economics," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 591-612, August.
    7. Steffen Reinhold, Ph.D., 2009. "Reassessing the Link between Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Instability," MEA discussion paper series 09178, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
    8. Michael Svarer, 2011. "Crime and partnerships," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, pages 307-325.
    9. Christine Schnor, 2014. "The Effect of Union Status at First Childbirth on Union Stability: Evidence from Eastern and Western Germany," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 30(2), pages 129-160, May.
    10. Gustaf Bruze & Michael Svarer & Yoram Weiss, 2015. "The Dynamics of Marriage and Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 123-170.
    11. Aycan Çelikaksoy & Helena Nielsen & Mette Verner, 2006. "Marriage migration: just another case of positive assortative matching?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 253-275, September.
    12. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2013. "Assortative mating and divorce: evidence from Austrian register data," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(4), pages 907-929, October.
    13. Pieter A. Gautier & Michael Svarer & Coen N. Teulings, 2007. "Sin City?," CAM Working Papers 2007-01, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
    14. Marinescu, Ioana, 2016. "Divorce: What does learning have to do with it?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 90-105.
    15. Christine Schnor, 2013. "Does waiting pay off? The effect of partnership duration prior to household formation on union stability," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2013-016, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    16. Steffen Reinhold, 2010. "Reassessing the link between premarital cohabitation and marital instability," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 47(3), pages 719-733, August.
    17. Christine Schnor, 2015. "Does waiting pay off for couples? Partnership duration prior to household formation and union stability," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 33(22), pages 611-652, September.
    18. Peter Fallesen & Richard Breen, 2016. "Temporary Life Changes and the Timing of Divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(5), pages 1377-1398, October.
    19. Norberg-Schönfeldt, Magdalena, 2007. "The Phase-Out of the Nuclear Family? Empirical Studies on the Economics and Structure of Modern Swedish Families," Umeå Economic Studies 708, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    20. Lehrer, Evelyn L. & Chen, Yu, 2012. "Delayed Entry into First Marriage: Further Evidence on the Becker-Landes-Michael Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 6729, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Paul J. Boyle & Hill Kulu, 2006. "Does cohabitation prior to marriage raise the risk of marital dissolution and does this effect vary geographically?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2006-051, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    22. Michael Svarer, 2007. "Working Late: Do Workplace Sex Ratios Affect Partnership Formation and Dissolution?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press.
    23. Svarer, Michael & Verner, Mette, "undated". "Do Children Stabilize Marriages?," Economics Working Papers 2003-3, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    24. Gautier, Pieter A. & Svarer, Michael & Teulings, Coen N., 2010. "Marriage and the city: Search frictions and sorting of singles," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 206-218, March.
    25. Evelyn Lehrer & Yu Chen, 2013. "Delayed entry into first marriage and marital stability," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(20), pages 521-542, September.

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