Transitions into and from cohabitation
Shaw, Tara Shankar
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The thesis provides a micro-foundation for the transitional dynamics of individuals choosing between marriage, cohabitation and being single. Cohabitation has become an accepted form of relationship in U.S.A. but it is usually of short duration, typically less than one year. We develop a model that explains how individuals' characteristics influence the relationship choices and transitions. Data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation are used to estimate a competing risks model to determine what influences the transitions of individuals from cohabitation to marriage or being single. A higher income for the male partner increases the likelihood of the couple transiting to marriage. A higher income for the female partner decreases the likelihood of transition to the state of being single. Increased education of the male and female partner increases the likelihood of transition from cohabitation to marriage but does not affect the transition to the state of being single. Keywords: Cohabitation; Marriage; Survival Analysis; Competing Risks. JEL Classification Numbers : J12, C41, D83.