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An Economic Analysis of Co-Parenting Choices: Single Parent, Visiting Father, Cohabitation, Marriage

Author

Listed:
  • Ronald Mincy

    (Columbia University)

  • Shoshana Grossbard

    (San Diego State University)

  • Chien-Chung Huang

    (Rutgers University)

Abstract

This paper sheds light on the determinants of choice between four co- parenting arrangements: father absence, father’s non-residential visitations, cohabitation, and marriage. In our theoretical framework, we use an adaptation of Becker’s Demand & Supply (D&S) model of marriage and a hierarchy of co-parenting arrangements--ranked in terms of degree of fathers’ involvement in the lives of mother or child--as an observable price measure for women’s work as mothers. We predict effects on co-parenting choice of factors such as welfare benefits, sex ratios, income, black versus white, or education, and black/white differences in these effects. We test our predictions with data from the Fragile Families and Child-Wellbeing Survey. Our findings include (1) the larger the grant amount in the state where the mother resides, the more it is likely that fathers will have some contact with their children, and the more it is likely that fathers will cohabit with the mothers; (2) fathers who have more children with other women are less likely to have contact with a given woman’s children, but this discouraging effect of men’s other children is smaller for blacks than for whites; and (3) employment in the last year reduces the likelihood that a white mother is married to her child’s father, while increasing that likelihood among black mothers.

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Mincy & Shoshana Grossbard & Chien-Chung Huang, 2005. "An Economic Analysis of Co-Parenting Choices: Single Parent, Visiting Father, Cohabitation, Marriage," Labor and Demography 0505004, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:0505004
    Note: Type of Document - doc; pages: 45
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
    2. Irwin Garfinkel & Sara McLanahan & Kristen Harknett, 1999. "Fragile Families and Welfare Reform," Working Papers 980, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    3. O. Ekert & Catherine Sofer, 1996. "Formal Version Informal Marriage : Explaining Factors," Post-Print halshs-00367260, HAL.
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    5. Wendy Manning & Pamela Smock, 1995. "Why marry? Race and the transition to marriage among cohabitors," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 32(4), pages 509-520, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Erin K. Fletcher, 2016. "Match quality and maternal investments in children," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 83-102, March.
    2. Shoshana Grossbard & Lisa Jepsen, 2008. "The economics of gay and lesbian couples: Introduction to a special issue on gay and lesbian households," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 311-325, December.
    3. Ekert-Jaffe, Olivia & Grossbard, Shoshana, 2008. "Does community property discourage unpartnered births?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 25-40, March.
    4. Maya Rossin-Slater, 2017. "Signing Up New Fathers: Do Paternity Establishment Initiatives Increase Marriage, Parental Investment, and Child Well-Being?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 93-130, April.

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    • J - Labor and Demographic Economics

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