Fertility Differences between Married and Cohabiting Couples: A Switching Regression Analysis

34 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008

See all articles by Junfu Zhang

Junfu Zhang

Clark University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Xue Song

The MEDSTAT Group

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Junfu and Song, Xue, Fertility Differences between Married and Cohabiting Couples: A Switching Regression Analysis. IZA Working Paper No. 3245, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Junfu Zhang (Contact Author)

Clark University ( email )

950 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01610
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Xue Song

The MEDSTAT Group ( email )

777 E. Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
United States

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