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Cohen, Philip N. (2002). Cohabitation and the Declining Marriage Premium for Men. Work and Occupations, 29(3), 346-363.


This article estimates the marriage effect on men's earnings using an alternate definition of marital status in which cohabitation is added as an additional category and using data from the 1976-1999 Current Population Surveys. Results show that the downward trend in the “marriage premium” is not as steep when cohabitors are excluded from the never-married reference group. The findings suggest that men's benefits from marriage have not declined as sharply as has been thought and highlight the importance of the diversity of family forms in studies of inequality. Future research that considers marital status should take into account the growing population of cohabitors.


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Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Work and Occupations


Cohen, Philip N.