Which Children Stabilize Marriage?

37 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2014

See all articles by Héctor Bellido

Héctor Bellido

University of Zaragoza

Jose Alberto Molina

University of Zaragoza - Department of Economic Analysis; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Anne Solaz

National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED)

Elena Stancanelli

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Abstract

Children can be considered as a marriage-specific investment that increases the value of the marriage, making a divorce more costly. We exploit the richness of pre- and post-marital information from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 79, for the United States, to investigate the relation between fertility and marriage instability. In our model of marriage breakdown, we use the number of siblings of the respondent and, alternatively, multiple births, to instrument the number of children conceived during first marriage. Our results indicate that the presence of children significantly reduces the probability of marital disruption. In addition, the younger the children, the greater the deterrent effect. In contrast, we conclude that children conceived before first marriage increase the risk of marital disruption. Finally, the higher the parents' level of education, the larger the positive effect of fertility on marital stability.

Keywords: children, marriage, divorce, IV approach

JEL Classification: J12, J13, J19

Suggested Citation

Bellido, Héctor and Molina Chueca, Jose Alberto and Solaz, Anne and Stancanelli, Elena, Which Children Stabilize Marriage?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7858. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2374639

Héctor Bellido (Contact Author)

University of Zaragoza

Zaragoza, 50005

Jose Alberto Molina Chueca

University of Zaragoza - Department of Economic Analysis ( email )

50005 Zaragoza
Spain

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Anne Solaz

National Institute of Demographic Studies (INED) ( email )

133 Bd Davout
Paris cedex 20, France 75980
France

Elena Stancanelli

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.parisschoolofeconomics.eu/fr/stancanelli-elena/

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