Money and Marriage: How Money Shapes Orientations towards Marriage among Cohabitors

Pamela J. Smock, University of Michigan
Wendy D. Manning, Bowling Green State University
Meredith J. Porter, Bowling Green State University

Unmarried cohabitation has become increasingly prominent in the United States and a growing literature in demography and other social sciences has sought to understand the factors that spur cohabiting couples to marry. While several studies suggest that good economic circumstances are associated with marriage, whether and how cohabitors perceive finances as a part of their decision-making about marriage is unclear. Drawing on data from 115 in-depth interviews with cohabiting Black, Latino/a, and White young men and women, this paper builds on quantitative studies by exploring whether and in what ways economic circumstances shape cohabitors' thinking about whether and when to marry.

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Presented in Session 98: Union Formation