Marriage Timing and Joint Home Purchase

Jennifer Holland, University of Wisconsin at Madison

This paper evaluates the extent to which the purchase of a jointly-owned home is a catalyst for marriage among Swedish cohabiting couples. Joint home ownership may provide an indicator for commitment and relationship, economic and residential stability. Data for this analysis come from the Swedish Housing and Life Course Cohort Study (N = 1,987 couples; 2,849 cohabiting spells). I measure the joint home purchase event with an indicator for purchase in the past 6 months (lag) or the following 6 months (lead). Additionally, I consider time-varying characteristics of housing, including rental versus owned properties and indicators for which partner holds the rental contract or ownership rights. Preliminary results suggest an elevated risk of marriage in the twelve month period surrounding a joint home purchase. Additionally, living in an owned property (vs. rented) at any time during a cohabitation is positively associated with marriage.

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Presented in Poster Session 3