Demographic Determinants of Family Structure Dynamics Experienced by Children
David Blau, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Wilbert van der Klaauw, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
We provide the first comprehensive demographic analysis of the family structure experiences of children. We jointly analyze childbearing behavior and transitions among co-residential union states defined by single, cohabiting, and married. The analysis uses data from the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79). The estimated model is simulated to provide a rich analysis of the family structure experiences of children from birth through age 18. A novel contribution of the paper is to analyze the determinants of the identity of the man with whom a woman enters a co-residential union. A woman who has given birth to a child outside of a co-residential union is at risk of entering a union with the father of the child and with other men. This distinction is rarely made when analyzing relationship formation, but it is critical for understanding the family structure experiences of children.
Presented in Session 16: Marriage, Cohabitation, and Children