Married with Children? The Role of Student Loan Debt

29 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2019

See all articles by Clifford Robb

Clifford Robb

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Samantha L. Schreiber

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Students

Date Written: September 23, 2019

Abstract

Data from the 2008:2012 Baccalaureate and Beyond panel dataset, collected by the US Department of Education, were used to analyze the role of student loan debt in separate predictive models for marriage and fertility decisions in a representative sample of four-year college graduates from institutions across the country. Subjective analysis of marriage and fertility decisions indicated that students identified debt as a significant factor in delaying progression to these major life events. In the empirical analyses of marriage and child birth, instrumenting student loans using in-state tuition rates, student loans were a significant predictor of actual marriage decisions but not a significant predictor for the birth of a first child in the first four years after graduation. Further, for four-year college graduates, a $1,000 increase in cumulative undergraduate student loan balance was associated with a 1.3% decreased likelihood of marriage in the first four years after college.

Keywords: College Students, Student loan debt, Financial stress, Marriage and fertility

JEL Classification: I22, D1

Suggested Citation

Robb, Clifford and Schreiber, Samantha L., Married with Children? The Role of Student Loan Debt (September 23, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3458547 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3458547

Clifford Robb (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

Samantha L. Schreiber

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Students ( email )

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706
United States

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