Do Children Stabilize Marriages?
In this paper we study the relationship between fertility behavior and the process of marriage duration. The potential endogeneity of fertility on marriage behavior is taken into account by modeling fertility and divorce jointly. We apply the âtiming-of-eventâ method (Abbring & van den Berg (2002)) to identify the causal eﬀect of births on the divorce hazard. We show that couples who are less prone to divorce are more prone to invest in children, and therefore one might (mistakenly) conclude that children tend to stabilize marriages. However, when correcting for the selectivity bias arising from the fertility decision, we conclude that children themselves do not have a positive eﬀect on marriage duration.
|Date of creation:||01 Feb 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Note:||Forthcoming in Journal of Population Economics|
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