Fertility Differences between Married and Cohabiting Couples: A Switching Regression Analysis
34 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008
Little is known about why cohabiting couples have fewer children than married couples. We explore the factors that explain the difference in fertility between these two groups using a switching regression analysis, which enables us to quantify the contribution of different factors through a decomposition of the difference. We find that married couples have more children than cohabiting couples primarily because marriage provides stronger incentives for specialization in household production. Unobserved self-selection plays a less important role.
Keywords: fertility, marriage, cohabitation, switching regression, self-selection, household specialization
JEL Classification: J12, J13
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