Reassessing the Link between Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Instability
It has been found that premarital cohabitation is positively correlated with the likelihood of marital dissolution in the U.S. To reassess this link, I estimate proportional hazard models of marital dissolution for first marriages using pooled data from three surveys of the NSFG 1988, 1995, and 2002 and demonstrate that the positive relationship between premarital cohabitation and marital instability has weakened for more recent birth and marriage cohorts. Using multiple marital outcomes for a person to account for one source of unobserved heterogeneity, panel models suggest that cohabitation is not selective of individuals with higher risk of marital dissolution and may be a stabilizing factor for higher parity marriages.
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- Jay Teachman, 2002. "Stability across cohorts in divorce risk factors," Demography, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 331-351, May.
- Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
- Michael Svarer, 2004. "Is Your Love in Vain? Another Look at Premarital Cohabitation and Divorce," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(2).
- Robert Moffitt & Robert Reville & Anne Winkler, 1998. "Beyond single mothers: Cohabitation and marriage in the AFDC program," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 259-278, August.
- Sheela Kennedy & Larry L. Bumpass, 2008. "Cohabitation and children's living arrangements," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(47), pages 1663-1692, September.
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