Should We Marry or Should We Wait? Interrelation between First Pregnancy and Decision concerning Marriage

Krzysztof Tymicki, Warsaw School of Economics

Paper focuses on the analysis of bridal pregnancies which are couple’s reaction to first non-marital conception resulting in decision to legitimate birth by marriage. The analysis aims at comparison between Poland and Japan, countries with high prevalence of bridal pregnancies with some reference to US data. The results show that both in Japan and Poland share of children conceived extramaritally but delivered within marriages in total number of first births is still high and yields around 30%. We also show that high level of bridal pregnancies is typical for countries with low rates of out-of-wedlock births and cohabitation. The results of modeling show increased incidence of bridal pregnancies among young mothers from small town or rural areas. Surprisingly, high incidence of bridal pregnancies could be noticed among females with higher educational level. Subsequently we present theoretical considerations concerning interdependency between process of childbearing and union formation, measurement and causality.

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Presented in Poster Session 2