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Friend and peer effects on entry into marriage and parenthood: A multiprocess approach

  • Nicoletta Balbo
  • Nicola Barban
  • Melinda Mills

This paper aims to investigate whether friendsí and peersí behavior influence and individualís entry into marriage and parenthood during the transition to adulthood of young, U.S. adults. After first studying entry into marriage and parenthood as two independent events, we then examine them as interrelated processes, thereby considering them as two joint outcomes of an individualís unique, underlying family-formation strategy. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, we engage in a series of discrete time event history models to test whether the larger the number of friends and peers who get married (or have a child), the sooner the individual gets married (or has a child). Results show strong cross-friend effects on entry into parenthood, whereas entry into marriage is only affected by peer effects. Estimates of a multiprocess model show that cross-friend effects on entry into parenthood remain strongly significant even when we control for cross-process unobserved heterogeneity.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP056.pdf
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Paper provided by "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in its series Working Papers with number 056.

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Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:056
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