What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage? A Review of Quantitative Methodologies

90 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2004

See all articles by David Ribar

David Ribar

George Washington University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: January 2004

Abstract

This study critically reviews quantitative methods that have been employed and evidence that has been gathered to assess the benefits of marriage and consequences of other family structures. The study begins by describing theoretical models of the determinants of different well-being outcomes and the role of family structure in producing those outcomes. It also discusses models of the determinants of marriage. The study then overviews specific statistical techniques that have been applied in empirical analyses of the effects of marriage, including standard regression, instrumental variables, selection and switching models, matching, non-parametric bounds, fixed effects, and latent factor (correlated random effects) methods. The study then reviews selected studies that have been completed in three domains of well-being outcomes: children's well-being, adults' earnings, and adults' physical health.

Keywords: marriage, well-being

JEL Classification: J1

Suggested Citation

Ribar, David C., What Do Social Scientists Know About the Benefits of Marriage? A Review of Quantitative Methodologies (January 2004). IZA Discussion Paper No. 998. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=500887

David C. Ribar (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Department of Economics ( email )

Monroe Hall, Suite 340
2115 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052 20052
United States
202-994-7608 (Phone)
202-994-6147 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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