Grandma Was Right: Why Cohabitation Undermines Relational Satisfaction, But is Increasing Anyway

29 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2007

See all articles by Bruce Wydick

Bruce Wydick

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper uses a game theoretic model to explain empirical research which has revealed higher relational satisfaction among married couples than cohabiting couples, as well as among married couples who did not cohabit before marriage. Despite these findings, in recent decades cohabitation rates have dramatically increased in both Europe and the United States. Instrumental variables estimations on data from 28 industrialized countries and 50 U.S. states show cohabitation strongly correlated with increases in women's labor force participation, where a 10 percent increase in women's labor force participation results in a 6.4 to 14.6 percent increase in cohabitation.

Suggested Citation

Wydick, Bruce, Grandma Was Right: Why Cohabitation Undermines Relational Satisfaction, But is Increasing Anyway. Kyklos, Vol. 60, Issue 4, pp. 617-645, November 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024614 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6435.2007.00388.x

Bruce Wydick (Contact Author)

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
United States

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