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Will you “quasi-marry” me? The rise of cohabitation and decline of marriages

  • Effrosyni Adamopoulou


In Western Europe and the US, the last couple of decades have witnessed a large increase in the new forms of marriages, usually called quasi-marriages, like cohabitation. Today in many European countries more than 15% of all couples are cohabiting. Furthermore, cohabiting couples differ from married ones. They tend to share household tasks and market works more equally than married couples. The aim of this paper is to account for the rise in cohabitation as well as the cross-sectional differences between cohabiting and married couples. To this end, we build a two-period model of marriage and cohabitation with home production. Using this framework, we analyze, both theoretically and empirically, the effects of the narrowing of the gender wage gap and the improvement in household production technology on the agents’ marital decisions.

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Paper provided by Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía in its series Economics Working Papers with number we1026.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cte:werepe:we1026
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  1. Raquel Fernández & Alessandra Fogli & Claudia Olivetti, 2004. "Mothers and Sons: Preference Formation and Female Labor Force Dynamics," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1249-1299.
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