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MPIDR Working Paper

Sex composition of children as a determinant of marriage disruption and marriage formation: evidence from Swedish register data

Andersson, G., Woldemicael, G.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2000-007 (October 2000).
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

Published in: Journal of Population Research 18(2): 143-153 (2001)

Keywords: Sweden

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate whether there are any effects of the sex composition of children on the propensity of Swedish mothers to enter into and exit from marriage. We use Swedish population-register data in order to estimate relative risks of marriage formation and marriage dissolution for mothers with different numbers and sexes of their children. The magnitude of our data allows us to get a very accurate picture of possible relationships of that nature even if they are relatively weak. Morgan et al. (1988) used survey data for the US and claimed to have found that one- and two-child parents in that country have lower divorce risks if they have sons than if they have daughters. For Sweden, we only find a minor effect in the same direction for three-child mothers. For two-child mothers, we instead find that the divorce risk is slightly reduced if a woman has one child of each sex. The divorce risk of one-child mothers is not at all affected by the sex of their child. Finally, we examine whether there are any effects of the sex composition of children on the propensity of Swedish mothers to enter the married state. We find that this is not the case. (AUTHORS)

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