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Title: Cohabitation History, Marriage, and Wealth Accumulation
Resulting in 1 citation.
1. Vespa, Jonathan Edward
Painter, Matthew A. II
Cohabitation History, Marriage, and Wealth Accumulation
Demography 48,3 (August 2011): 983-1004.
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Population Association of America
Keyword(s): Cohabitation; Ethnic Differences; Marital Status; Marriage; Racial Differences; Wealth

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

This study extends research on the relationship between wealth accumulation and union experiences, such as marriage and cohabitation. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, we explore the wealth trajectories of married individuals in light of their premarital cohabitation histories. Over time, marriage positively correlates with wealth accumulation. Most married persons with a premarital cohabitation history have wealth trajectories that are indistinguishable from those without cohabitation experience, with one exception: individuals who marry their one and only cohabiting partner experience a wealth premium that is twice as large as that for married individuals who never cohabited prior to marrying. Results remain robust over time despite cohabiters' selection out of marriage, yet vary by race/ethnicity. We conclude that relationship history may shape long-term wealth accumulation, and contrary to existing literature, individuals who marry their only cohabiting partners experience a beneficial marital outcome. It is therefore important to understand the diversity of cohabitation experiences among the married.
Bibliography Citation
Vespa, Jonathan Edward and Matthew A. II Painter. "Cohabitation History, Marriage, and Wealth Accumulation." Demography 48,3 (August 2011): 983-1004.