The formation and outcomes of cohabiting and marital partnerships in early adulthood: The role of previous partnership experience

University of Bristol, Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A (Statistics in Society) (Impact Factor: 1.64). 02/2006; 169(4):757-779. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-985X.2006.00420.x
Source: RePEc


We estimate a joint model of the formation and dissolution of cohabiting and marital unions among British women who were born in 1970. The focus of the analysis is the effect of previous cohabitation and marriage on subsequent partnership transitions. We use a multilevel simultaneous equations event history model to allow for residual correlation between the hazards of moving from an unpartnered state into cohabitation or marriage, converting a cohabiting union into marriage and dissolution of either form of union. A simultaneous modelling approach allows for the joint determination of these transitions, which may otherwise bias estimates of the effects of previous partnership outcomes on later transitions. Copyright 2006 Royal Statistical Society.

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    • "The first describes forces (old and new) driving divorce and focus on key determinants affecting the hazard of marital dissolution. Factors such as religion (Lehrer and Chiswick, 1993), cohabitation before marrying (Haskey, 1999; Berrington and Diamond, 1999), divorce costs (Bougheas and Georgellis, 1998), unexpected changes in economic circumstances (Weiss and Willis, 1997; Böheim and Ermisch, 2001), age at marriage (Lehrer, 2006), education and assortative mating (Chan and Halpin, 2003), previous partnership experiences (Steele et al. 2006), unexpected outcomes like bankruptcy (Fisher and Lyons 2005) are generally associated with the likelihood of marital dissolution. There is consensus on the effects of most of the determinants of marital dissolution: age at marriage, religion beliefs and children within current marriage are negatively related to the hazard of divorce, cohabitation before marriage and being in a young cohort are factors positively associated with the hazard of marital dissolution. "
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates whether the determinants of first marriage dissolution differ from determinants of second marriage dissolution. Using data from British Household Panel Survey, I estimate a simultaneous hazard model for the risk of ending a first and a second marriage, taking into account unobserved heterogeneity. The model is estimated for men and women, separately. Cross-equations unobserved heterogeneity is not statistically different from zero. The most interesting findings is related to cohabitation before marriage: it is found to affect first and second marriage dissolution risk differently, namely it is found to increase the hazard of first marriage dissolution, but to reduce the hazard of second one.
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    • "(1995) approach has since been tested, with varying degrees of support. Woods and Emery (2002) find that controlling for selection effects eliminates the significant relationship between premarital cohabitation and marital instability, as do Steele et al. (2006). And, controlling for selection effects in a German study Bruderl et al. (1997) find that cohabitation actually decreases the risk of divorce, suggesting that gathering information about the spouse during this period does have a positive effect on subsequent marital stability. "
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    ABSTRACT: A number of studies show that premarital cohabitation increases the risk of subsequent marital dissolution. Some argue that this is a consequence of selection effects and that once these are controlled for premarital cohabitation has no effect on dissolution. We extend this research by examining whether the effects of premarital cohabitation on marital dissolution vary across settlements within a country. Using retrospective event-history data from Austria, we model equations for union formation and dissolution jointly to control for unobserved selectivity of cohabiters or non-cohabiters. Our results show that those who cohabit prior to marriage have a higher risk of marital dissolution. However, once selection effects are controlled for, the risks of marital dissolution for those who cohabit prior to marriage are significantly lower than for those who marry directly. We show that strong selection effects relate to both cohabitation and direct marriage and these effects are consistent across all settlements.
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    ABSTRACT: from the BHPS which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and
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