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The Price of Partnering: The Role of Economic Well-Being in Young Adults' First Union Experiences

Marin Clarkberg
Social Forces
Vol. 77, No. 3 (Mar., 1999), pp. 945-968
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/3005967
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3005967
Page Count: 24
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The Price of Partnering: The Role of Economic Well-Being in Young Adults' First Union Experiences
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Abstract

Drawing on the literature on the links between economic resources and the transition to marriage, this study examines the role of economic well-being in the formation of marital and cohabitational unions. I use event history models with data from a large longitudinal data set of young adults. In general, economic well-being has a weaker association with cohabitation than with marriage, but this differs by sex. Further, results suggest that both men and women who are economically unstable are likely to cohabit. The findings suggest that cohabitation may provide an attractive alternative for those who are in romantic relationships but lack the economic well-being required for marriage or lack the occupational stability that would make them attractive candidates for the long-term contract that marriage implies.

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