Cohabitation and Family Formation in China

Lijun Yang, Beijing Normal University

This article draws a sample of 2,778 people from the 2006 Chinese General Social Survey and examines the role of cohabitation in the family formation process. Multinomial logit model shows that cohabitating before marriage does not increase the chance of having a premarital birth in China. In fact, premarital cohabiters are less likely to experience premarital birth. Compared to those who marry directly, Chinese people who cohabit before marriage are no more likely to conceptualize their first child outside marriage. Discrete-time logit model shows that premarital cohabiters are more likely to delay childbearing within marriage, and the delaying effect is greater for those at the lower end of the educational spectrum.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility Intentions and Behavior