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Reassessing the Link between Premarital Cohabitation and Marital Instability

Steffen Reinhold ()

No 9178, MEA discussion paper series from Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy

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.

Keywords: Cohabitation; Marriage; Marital Stability; Self-selection; Duration Models (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C41 D83 J12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-04-17
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Journal Article: Reassessing the link between premarital cohabitation and marital instability (2010) Downloads
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