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Do Children Stabilize Danish Marriages?

  • Michael Svarer

    (Department of Economics, University of Aarhus)

  • Mette Verner

    (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)

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 ”timing-of-event” method (Abbring & van den Berg (2003)) 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 this selectivity bias arising from the fertility decision, we conclude that children themselves do not have a positive effect on marriage duration

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics in its series CAM Working Papers with number 2004-16.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kud:kuieca:2004_16
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