Home and Where the Heart Is: Marriage Timing and Joint Home Purchase

  • Jennifer A. HollandEmail author


This article evaluates the relationship between the timing of marriage and the purchase of a jointly owned home among Swedish cohabiting couples. Data for this analysis come from the Swedish Housing and Life Course Cohort Study (N = 1,596 couples; 2,006 cohabiting spells). The author develops models to proxy for simultaneity and intentions and test hypotheses about positive and negative and long- and short-run relationships between the two life-course events. The author uses a novel modeling approach, allowing for differences in the risk before, concurrently and after the conditioning event. Results indicate a positive relationship between marriage and joint home purchase and suggest the possibility of an ordering of events: For some couples, formalizing their union through marriage may be a prerequisite for a joint home purchase.


Marriage Housing Event-history analysis Sweden 

Où se trouve le cœur, là est la maison: Calendrier du mariage et achat conjoint d’un logement


Cet article étudie la relation entre le calendrier du mariage et l’achat conjoint d’un logement chez les couples suédois cohabitants à partir des données de l’étude de cohorte suédoise sur les ménages et les parcours de vie (N = 1 596 couples; 2 006 périodes de cohabitation). L’auteur développe des modèles pour appréhender la simultanéité et les intentions et pour tester des hypothèses relatives aux relations positives/négatives, court-terme/long-terme entre les deux événements. Une approche nouvelle permet de tenir compte des différences de risque avant, pendant et après l’événement conditionnant. Les résultats indiquent une relation positive entre le mariage et l’achat conjoint d’un logement et la possibilité d’un ordre chronologique dans la survenue des événements : pour certains couples, formaliser leur union par un mariage peut être une condition préalable à l’achat conjoint d’un logement.


Mariage Logement Analyse biographique Suède 



Earlier versions of the article and some analyses have been presented and benefited from discussions at meetings of the European Association of Population Studies (2010) and the Population Association of America (2010), the Nordic Demographic Symposium (2010), European Science Foundation Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (2) Advances in Family and Fertility Research Workshop (2009), the University of Wisconsin–Madison Center for Demography and Ecology, the Stockholm University Demography Unit and Linnaeus Center for Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe and the Research Department of Statistics Norway. I thank Elizabeth Thomson, Gunnar Andersson, Clara Mulder, Jan Hoem and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Support for the research was provided by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Center for Demography and Ecology (Center Grant R24 HD047873). I also thank Sara Ström and the Swedish Institute for Futures Studies for access to and documentation of the Swedish Life Course and Cohort Study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of Wisconsin–MadisonMadisonUSA

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