How Well Can We Track Cohabitation Using the SIPP? A Consideration of Direct and Inferred Measures

Center for Policy Research Working Paper No. 30

30 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2011

See all articles by Reagan Anne Baughman

Reagan Anne Baughman

University of New Hampshire - Department of Economics

Stacy Dickert-Conlin

Michigan State University

Scott Houser

California State University, Fresno - Department of Economics

Date Written: October 1, 2000

Abstract

Cohabitation is an alternative to marriage and to living independently for an increasing number of Americans. Despite this fact, research exploring links between living arrangements and economic behavior is limited by a lack of data that explicitly identify cohabiting couples. To aid researchers in using the Survey of Income and Program Participation's (SIPP) rich data for cohabitation issues, our paper considers direct and inferred measures of cohabitation. Our findings suggest that: (1) the best inferred measures in pre-1996 SIPP depends upon a researcher's goals and (2) that the SIPP counts a larger number of cohabiting couples than the widely-used CPS.

JEL Classification: J12

Suggested Citation

Baughman, Reagan Anne and Dickert-Conlin, Stacy and Houser, Scott, How Well Can We Track Cohabitation Using the SIPP? A Consideration of Direct and Inferred Measures (October 1, 2000). Center for Policy Research Working Paper No. 30, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1808174 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1808174

Reagan Anne Baughman (Contact Author)

University of New Hampshire - Department of Economics ( email )

Durham, NH 03824
United States

Stacy Dickert-Conlin

Michigan State University ( email )

Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, MI 48824-1122
United States

Scott Houser

California State University, Fresno - Department of Economics ( email )

5245 N. Backer
Fresno, CA 93740
United States

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