Reassessing the Link between Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Instability

Reinhold, Steffen

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-22954
Document Type: Working paper
Year of publication: 2009
The title of a journal, publication series: MEA Discussion Papers
Volume: 178
Place of publication: Mannheim
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Law and Economics > Sonstige - Fakultät für Rechtswissenschaft und Volkswirtschaftslehre
MADOC publication series: Veröffentlichungen des MEA (Mannheim Research Institute For the Economics of Aging) > MEA Discussion Papers
Subject: 330 Economics
Classification: JEL: J12 D83 C41 ,
Subject headings (SWD): USA , Eheähnliche Gemeinschaft , Ehe , Ehescheidung , Auswirkung
Keywords (English): Cohabitation , marriage , marital stability , self-selection , duration models
Abstract: 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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