Can Long-Term Cohabiting and Marital Unions be Incentivized?
In this study, we ask whether economic factors that can be directly manipulated by public policy have important effects on the probability that women experience long-lasting unions. Using data from the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we estimate a fivestage sequential choice model for women’s transitions between single with no prior unions, cohabiting, first-married, re-single (divorced or separated), and remarried. We control for expected income tax burdens, AFDC or TANF benefits, Medicaid expenditures, and parameters of state divorce laws, along with an array of demographic, family background, and market factors. We simulate women’s sequences of transitions from age 18 to 48, and use the simulated outcomes to predict the probability that a woman with given characteristics (a) forms a first union by age 24 and maintains the union for at least 12 years, and (b) forms a second union by age 36 and maintains it for at least 12 years. While nonpolicy factors such as race and schooling prove to have important effects on the predicted probabilities of long-term unions, the policy factors have small and/or imprecisely estimated effects; in short, we fail to identify policy mechanisms that could potentially be used to incentivize long-term unions.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 410 Arps Hall 1945 North High Street Columbus, Ohio 43210-1172|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Angeles, Gustavo & Guilkey, David K & Mroz, Thomas A, 2005. "The Effects of Education and Family Planning Programs on Fertility in Indonesia," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 165-201, October.
- Audrey Light & Yoshiaki Omori, 2012.
"Determinants of Long-Term Unions: Who Survives the “Seven Year Itch”?,"
12-02, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
- Audrey Light & Yoshiaki Omori, 2013. "Determinants of Long-Term Unions: Who Survives the “Seven Year Itch”?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 32(6), pages 851-891, December.
- A. S. Yelowitz, .
"Will Extending Medicaid to Two-Parent Families Encourage Marriage?,"
Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers
1118-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
- Aaron S. Yelowitz, 1998. "Will Extending Medicaid to Two-Parent Families Encourage Marriage?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 833-865.
- Hector Chade & Gustavo Ventura, .
"Income Taxation and Marital Decisions,"
2133479, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
- Spiros Bougheas & Yannis Georgellis, .
"The Effect of Divorce Costs on Marriage Formation and Dissolution,"
Economics and Finance Discussion Papers
97-05, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
- Spiros Bougheas & Yannis Georgellis, 1999. "The effect of divorce costs on marriage formation and dissolution," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 12(3), pages 489-498.
- Robert Moffitt & Robert Reville & Anne Winkler, 1998. "Beyond single mothers: Cohabitation and marriage in the AFDC program," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(3), pages 259-278, August.
- Saul D. Hoffman & Greg J. Duncan, 1995. "The Effect of Incomes, Wages, and AFDC Benefits on Marital Disruption," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 19-41.
- Cornwell, Christopher & Rupert, Peter, 1997. "Unobservable Individual Effects, Marriage and the Earnings of Young Men," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(2), pages 285-94, April.
- Robert Kaestner & Neeraj Kaushal, 2001.
"Immigrant and Native Responses to Welfare Reform,"
NBER Working Papers
8541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Leslie S. Stratton, 2002. "Examining the Wage Differential for Married and Cohabiting Men," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(2), pages 199-212, April.
- Marianne Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2002.
"The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce,"
FRB Atlanta Working Paper
2002-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
- Marianne Bitler & Jonah Gelbach & Hilary Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The impact of welfare reform on marriage and divorce," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(2), pages 213-236, May.
- Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes & Madeline Zavodny, 2004. "The Impact of Welfare Reform on Marriage and Divorce," Working Papers 110, RAND Corporation.
- Audrey Light & Yoshiaki Omori, 2009. "Economic Incentives and Family Formation," Working Papers 09-08, Ohio State University, Department of Economics.
- StÃ©phane Mechoulan, 2006.
"Divorce Laws and the Structure of the American Family,"
The Journal of Legal Studies,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-174, 01.
- Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Divorce Laws and the Structure of the American Family," Working Papers tecipa-245, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
- Peters, H Elizabeth, 1986. "Marriage and Divorce: Informational Constraints and Private Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 437-54, June.
- Daniel Lichter & Zhenchao Qian & Leanna Mellott, 2006. "Marriage or dissolution? Union transitions among poor cohabiting women," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 43(2), pages 223-240, May.
- James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Sergio Urzua & Gregory Veramendi, 2010. "The effects of educational choices on labor market, health, and social outcomes," Working Papers 2011-002, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:osu:osuewp:12-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (John Slaughter)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.