Racial Differences in Transitions to Marriage for Unmarried Mothers

Daniels, G.E., Kakar, V. & Chaudhuri, A. J Fam Econ Iss (2017), DOI: org/10.1007/s10834-017-9538-3

36 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2016 Last revised: 18 Feb 2019

See all articles by Gerald Daniels

Gerald Daniels

Howard University

Venoo Kakar

San Francisco State University

Anoshua Chaudhuri

San Francisco State University; Department of Economics

Date Written: November 30, 2016

Abstract

Unlike prior studies that have explained racial differences in the transitions to marriage among unmarried women, our study uses the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to examine racial differences in the transitions to marriage among unmarried women following a non-marital birth. We find that Black mothers are 60-65% more likely to delay marriage after a non-marital birth compared to White mothers and these racial gaps are only partially explained by economic, demographic and attitudinal factors. Our paper further contributes to this literature by examining changes in cohabitation patterns, educational attainment, poverty status and attitudes of gender distrust that are able to partially explain and reduce these racial gaps in transitions to marriage. With the general decline in marriage and rise in cohabitation, our paper tries to assess whether cohabitation is a leading factor for marriage or a substitute for marriage for unmarried mothers. Racial disparities have important implications for child wellbeing and intergenerational transmission of inequalities.

Keywords: Fragile Families, Marriage, Race, Cohabitation, Education, Hazard Models, Attitudes towards Marriage

JEL Classification: J12, J15, J16, Z1

Suggested Citation

Daniels, Gerald and Kakar, Venoo and Chaudhuri, Anoshua, Racial Differences in Transitions to Marriage for Unmarried Mothers (November 30, 2016). Daniels, G.E., Kakar, V. & Chaudhuri, A. J Fam Econ Iss (2017), DOI: org/10.1007/s10834-017-9538-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2817476 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2817476

Gerald Daniels

Howard University ( email )

2400 Sixth St NW
Washington, DC 20059
United States
(202) 806-9895 (Phone)
(202) 806-4896 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://gerald-daniels.com/

Venoo Kakar (Contact Author)

San Francisco State University ( email )

1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
United States
4154053461 (Phone)
4153381057 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.venookakar.com

Anoshua Chaudhuri

San Francisco State University ( email )

Department of Economics
1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
United States
415 338 2108 (Phone)
415 338 1057 (Fax)

Department of Economics ( email )

1600 Holloway Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94132
United States

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