, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 535–551 | Cite as

Interrelated family-building behaviors: Cohabitation, marriage, and nonmarital conception

  • Michael J. Brien
  • Lee A. Lillard
  • Linda J. Waite
Other Articles


Data from the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 are used to estimate a series of models of entry into marriage, entry into cohabitation, and nonmarital pregnancy. Our models account explicitly for the endogeneity of one outcome as a predictor of another by taking into account both heterogeneity across individuals due to unmeasured factors that may affect all these outcomes and the correlation in the unmeasured factors across processes. We find that these heterogeneity components are strongly and positively related across the outcomes. Women who are more likely to cohabit, marry, or become pregnant while unmarried are also more likely to do each of the others. Although black and white women differ in the likelihood of these behaviors, the interrelations of the behaviors are quite similar across groups.


White Woman Black Woman Marriage Market Heterogeneity Component High School Class 
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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Brien
    • 1
  • Lee A. Lillard
    • 2
  • Linda J. Waite
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesville
  2. 2.Department of Economics and lSRUniversity of MichiganUSA
  3. 3.Department of Sociology and NORCUniversity of ChicagoUSA

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