Cohabitation is not a new phenomenon.

Men and women have been living together without the benefit (some question whether it is really a benefit) of legally and/or sacramentally recognized marriage.

It is a problem that every parish priest has to wrestle with more and more frequently as couples come to arrange for their marriage and in the process reveal that they have been “living together” for some months or years.
Most dioceses require a waiting period of anywhere from six to twelve months after the initial contact with the priest before the priest can proceed with the rite of marriage.  Such a delay usually comes as a big shock to the couple who never dreamed that their cohabitation could possibly be an impediment to a quick marriage celebration.  However, pastoral experience has shown that there is good reason to delay the wedding.

What concerns me at this moment is that our Federal Government is possibly about to increase its pressure on couples to cohabitate  rather than marry.

I say “increase” because the Internal Revenue Service a long time ago made it more attractive for elderly couples to cohabitate rather than marry.  The tax code is too complex for me to try to explain why and how that is, but it seems to be a fairly common fact of life.

Now, as you will read at the end of this post, Congress is contemplating imposing a penalty on couples for their health insurance.  It stands to reason that if two people have to choose between simply living together and paying a low cost health care premium, or getting married and being penalized with an exorbitant premium penalty, many couples will choose simply to live together rather than get married.

First, Murat Iyigun, an economist at the University of Colorado writes about the economic factors involved in cohabitation versus marriage.
Then, the website writes a rebuttal to the Iygun piece.
And then, finally, Kim Trobee, reports on the proposed health care legislation’s impact on marriage versus cohabitation.


Iyigun, Murat ( (University of Colorado, Boulder)


This paper combines partner matching with an intra-household allocation model where couples decide if they want to marry or cohabitate. Marriage encourages but does not ensure a higher level of spousal commitment, which in turn can generate a larger marital surplus. Individuals’ marital preferences and commitment costs vary, and sorting equilibria are based on individuals’ marital preferences and propensity to commit. In all equilibria, some married couples are able to cooperate and operate efficiently, but some married and all cohabiting couples act with limited commitment and non-cooperatively. When spousal marital commitment costs are gender symmetric, there is a pure-sorting equilibrium in which all partners who prefer to act with commitment in marriage are matched with someone who has the same preference. In such an equilibrium, the benefits of marital commitment accrue to both partners. When commitment costs are not gender neutral, there can also be mixed-matching equilibria in which a partner who is willing to act with commitment in marriage is matched with someone who is not. In all such equilibria, the benefits of marital commitment accrue only to those men or women who are in short supply. Consequently, a shortage of men (women) who can maritally commit makes all women (men) worse off and materially indifferent between marriage or cohabitation. An excess supply of men who prefer marriage not only reduces the marriage incentives of men and raises those of women, but also the marital commitment incentives of men. As a corollary, if the gains from marriage fall, not only will more individuals choose to cohabitate but more married couples will act non-cooperatively.

Thursday, September 24, 2009
On the advantage of marriage over cohabitation

Why marry when cohabitation can provide the same benefits of economies of scale and companionship? One may even think that cohabitation is superior because it allows a break up with less consequences. That is exactly wrong. The fact that divorce is costly makes that one is more careful in committing to marriage and, once married, one puts more effort into the marriage. The key here is that marriage is a commitment device that gives strong incentives to make a marriage work.

Murat Iyigun shows that this logic gives marriage a larger surplus than cohabitation through spousal commitment, as long as men and women are available in roughly equal numbers and commitment costs are symmetric across genders. Otherwise, marriage surpluses collapse and cohabitation dominates.

The fact is that commitment costs are not equal, mostly because of children and traditional roles in the household and the labor market. In fact, the countries where women are the most equal to men (say, Scandinavia) are those where cohabitation is the most prevalent. That evidence goes exactly counter to the predictions of the Iyigun model. Unfortunately, the paper provides absolutely no empirical support for its results. In fact, it is not even motivated by any empirical fact that would need to be explained. What is it then good for?

Posted by Economic Logician at 7:47 AM
Labels: bad research, contracts, game theory

Higher premiums may discourage people from getting married.
A closer look at premium payments in both the House and Senate health care bills shows higher premiums that might discourage couples from tying the knot.
For instance, in the House version, an unmarried couple each making $30,000 a year would pay $1,320 combined each year for private health insurance.  If that couple chose to marry, their premium would jump to $12,000 a year, a difference of $10,680.
Allen Quist, a former Minnesota State legislator and current candidate for Congress, discovered the penalty while looking at numbers from the Committees on Ways and Means, Energy & Commerce, and Education & Labor.
“This extraordinary penalty people will pay, should they marry, extends all the way from a two-person combined income of $58,280 to $86,640, a spread of $28,360,” he wrote in a blog post.  “A large number of people fall within this spread. As premiums for private insurance escalate, as expected, the marriage penalty will become substantially larger.”
The Senate bill includes a similar penalty.
“The Senate bill stipulates that two unmarried people, 52 years of age, with private insurance and a combined income of $60,000, $30,000 each, will pay a combined cost of $2,483 for medical insurance,” Quist wrote.  “Should they marry, however, they will pay a combined cost of $11,666 for insurance — a penalty of $9,183 for getting married.”
The numbers are based on the government’s definition of “poverty level.”  Those above poverty level will pay higher premiums, and the excess would be redistributed to those in lower income levels.
Quist explains that the government’s definitions will play a critical role in whether people will choose to get married.
“‘Household’ is defined in both bills as including those who can be claimed as dependents for federal income tax purposes, thereby clarifying that adults can avoid the marriage penalty by living together unmarried,” he wrote.  “The new system provides a huge incentive for doing so.”
John Helmberger, CEO of the Minnesota Family Council and Institute, said the middle class will once again take the hit financially.
“This hidden marriage penalty,” he said, “hits hardest the very people that are most suffering from the pathologies resulting from the decline of marriage in our culture.”
by Kim Trobee, Editor



He is not eligible to be
President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five of the United States Constitution.

This is a fact REGARDLESS of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, Mecca or Mars).

He is not eligible
because he was not born of
as required by the Constitution.

Barack Hussein Obama Jr. is not eligible to be President of the United States because – according to public admissions made by him – his  “birth status was governed” by the United Kingdom.  Obama further admits he was a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies at birth.
Since Barack Hussein Obama Jr. was, if born in the state of Hawaii, a dual citizen, who – according to his own State Department – owed allegiance to the Queen of England and United Kingdom at the time of his birth – he cannot therefore be a “natural born” citizen of the US according to Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the US Constitution.
His father, who did not live in the United States for more than a couple of years,  was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain at the time of Barack’s  birth and afterwards, AND further, as Barack himself admitted on his website during the 2008 campaign, Barack was therefore born SUBJECT TO THE GOVERNANCE OF GREAT BRITAIN.

Here is a direct quote from Obama’s “Fight the Smears/Fact Check” 2008 website:

‘When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children…’ “

The FACT that he was not born of TWO US CITIZEN PARENTS is all that matters. The question of his birth certificate is a distraction (a distraction fostered by Obama’s supporters?) that ought not to occupy our time and resources.  BUT if you are really convinced of the value of the COLB (certificate of live birth) that Obama posted on his website, see this:

Also, it is possible that he is not a United States
citizen at all through his mother if he was born in Kenya, as three witnesses have testified. The reason is because his mother could not pass her US citizenship on to her son because she did not live continuously in the United States for five full years after her fourteenth birthday as required by the US immigration law in effect during that period of time.

Check it out:
Also, an excellent introductory primer on Obama Presiidential Eligibility is to be found at:

His usurpation can only be corrected (1) by Congress through his Impeachment and Removal [something which will never happen in a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid], or (2) it can be
corrected by his resignation, which could happen if the public presssure on him to resign becomes great enough, or (3) by his removal by the United States Supreme Court affirming a Quo Warranto decision of the United States Federal District Court for the District of Columbia [which process Attorney General Eric Holder would never allow to even begin] or (4) by an amendment to the Constitution,
which will never happen because that again would require the agreement of a Congress controlled by Pelosi/Reid.


“During the 2008 election, then Senator Obama published a statement at his website which said that his birth status was ‘governed’ by the British Nationality Act of 1948. Can you please tell me, and the American people, how a person governed – at birth – by British law, can be a natural born citizen of the United States and thus constitutionally eligible to be President of the United States?”

– Leo Rugiens

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in MORAL RELATIVISM. Bookmark the permalink.