Reference no: EM131090008
Axinn and Thornton (1992)
1. To demonstrate the relationship between cohabitation on subsequent divorce, this article does not deal with divorce rates, but relies on the assumption that subjective/attitudinal measures are closely linked to the probability of divorce. To what extent is this strategy justified? Alternatively, how much do we really know about the predictive power of various attitudinal measures on divorce rates?
2. The attitudinal variables have no effect on first union formation rates. What does this finding, in combination with the models treating cohabitation and marriage as competing risks, tell us about the nature of cohabitation vis-a-vis marriage?
3. Are you surprised to see the negative association between marital stability and premarital cohabitation? Why or why not?
4. Axinn and Thornton find a relationship between attitudes about divorce and cohabitation (marriage) for both men an women, but only when attitudes about divorce are measured by a certain question, which is different for men than for women. It appears that these two questions are measuring different things. What are these questions actually measuring? Relatedly, it is a common finding that slight changes in question wording can dramatically affect the responses that a researcher receives. What implications does this have for research that includes measures of respondents' attitudes?
Raley and Bumpass (2003)
1) What do the results of this analysis suggest about the role of divorce in patterns of social/economic stratification?
2) How have changes in the characteristics of marriages offset the trend toward decreasing marital instability?
1. Counterfactual exercises like the one used in this paper are a hugely valuable tool to demographers. Let's take a bit of time to think about exactly what is being done and how (mechanically) one goes about generating counterfactual outcomes.
Lillard, Brien, and Waite (1995)
1. What are selection biases, endogeneity, and unobserved heterogeneity? What are some specific research examples where these issues may be particularly relevant?
2. I realize that few, if any, of you have had classes on hazard analyses, but based on your reading of this and other papers, what do you see as the pros and cons of discrete time versus continuous time hazard regression models. How about the pros and cons of Cox models?.
Sayer and Bianchi (2000)
1. Why do we use measures of marriage dissolution that include both divorce and separation rather than simply using divorce?
2. How are their measures of marital quality/commitment related to other variables that have been found to affect union dissolution? For example, Waite and Lillard note that previous research has found lower ratings of marriage quality for couples who have children than for childless couples. Similarly, what characteristics may lead to reports
of lower marriage quality/commitment?
3. Would we expect these variables to have the same effects on dissolution of cohabitation unions?
Waite and Lillard (1991)
1. How might we test the behavioral and/or motivational mechanisms that underlie the relationships between children and marital disruption? In other words, how might we go about trying to "explain" the documented association between chidren and marital disruption.
2. "The risk of dissolution may change systematically over time as the marriage continues. Couples learn over time about the quality of the match, and may acquire 'marriage-specific capital,' which makes the union more desirable so that the risk of divorce declines at longer marital durations. These systematic changes in the risk of dissolution are reflected in the baseline hazard. What if we make very bad assumptions (or approximations) of the baseline hazard function?