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The Relationship Between Civil Unions and Fertility in France: Preliminary Evidence

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  • Emilio Guiterrez

    () (Centro de Investigacion Economica (CIE), Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico (ITAM))

  • Pablo Suarez-Becerra

    () (Department of Economics, Brown University)

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between fertility and the introduction of new laws regulating cohabitation, in a context of low fertility and high out of wedlock childbearing. We show that in France, while fertility and marriage rates moved closely together before 1999, since the introduction (in 1999) of the "Pacte Civil de Solidarité" (PACS) - a cohabitation contract less binding than marriage - this relationship is much weaker. Surprisingly, legal unions (defined as marriage plus PACS) and fertility continue to move together after this date. We provide evidence of the relationship between the introduction of PACS and fertility, utilizing the regional variation in the number of PACS per woman (PACS intensity) and the differences in fertility before and after 1999. We show that French Departments with high PACS intensity (excluding Metropolitan Paris). However, they did experience and increase in their fertility levels after the introduction of PACS. This suggests the need to collect better and more detailed data, in order to assess whether the recent increases in French fertility can be partially explained by the availability of PACS.

Suggested Citation

  • Emilio Guiterrez & Pablo Suarez-Becerra, 2010. "The Relationship Between Civil Unions and Fertility in France: Preliminary Evidence," Working Papers 1006, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  • Handle: RePEc:cie:wpaper:1006
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    File URL: http://ftp.itam.mx/pub/academico/inves/gutierrez/10-06.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Betsey Stevenson, 2007. "The Impact of Divorce Laws on Marriage-Specific Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 75-94.
    2. repec:cai:poeine:pope_405_0595 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2006. "Divorce, Fertility and the Shot Gun Marriage," NBER Working Papers 12375, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Neyer, Gerda, 2003. "Family Policies and Low Fertility in Western Europe," Discussion Paper 161, Center for Intergenerational Studies, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano & Nathan Nunn, 2011. "Fertility and the Plough," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 499-503, May.
    6. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana & Lemennicier, Bertrand, 2000. "Marriage contracts and the law-and-economics of marriage: an Austrian perspective," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 665-690, June.
    7. Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana Amyra, 1982. "A Theory of Marriage Formality: The Case of Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 813-830, July.
    8. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Is Making Divorce Easier Bad for Children? The Long-Run Implications of Unilateral Divorce," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(4), pages 799-834, October.
    9. Gerda R. Neyer, 2003. "Family policies and low fertility in Western Europe," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2003-021, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    10. R. Raley, 2001. "Increasing fertility in cohabiting unions: evidence for the second demographic transition in the united states?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 38(1), pages 59-66, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shoshana Grossbard & Victoria Vernon, 2014. "Common law marriage and couple formation," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-26, December.
    2. Shoshana Grossbard, 2016. "Should common law marriage be abolished?," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 256-256, May.

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