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America's settling down: How better jobs and falling immigration led to a rise in marriage, 1880–1930

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  • Cvrcek, Tomas

Abstract

The early 20th century was a period of rising marriage rate and falling age at marriage. This was due to two factors affecting men. First, men's improving labor market prospects made them more attractive as marriage partners. Second, immigration had a dynamic effect on search costs. In the short-run, it fragmented the marriage market, making it harder to find a partner of one's preferred background. The high search costs led to less marriage and later marriage in the 1890s. In the long-run, as immigration declined, immigrants' descendants integrated with American society. This reduced search costs and increased the marriage rate.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Explorations in Economic History.

Volume (Year): 49 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 335-351

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Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:3:p:335-351

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622830

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Keywords: Marriage market; Search costs; Immigration;

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  1. Robert Shimer & Lones Smith, 2000. "Assortative Matching and Search," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(2), pages 343-370, March.
  2. Stevenson, Betsey & Wolfers, Justin, 2007. "Marriage and Divorce: Changes and their Driving Forces," CEPR Discussion Papers 6144, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel, 2000. "Understanding young women's marriage decisions: The role of labor and marriage market conditions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 53(4), pages 624-647, July.
  8. Claudia Goldin, 1990. "Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold90-1, July.
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  10. Angrist, Joshua, 2001. "How Do Sex Ratios Affect Marriage and Labor Markets? Evidence from America's Second Generation," IZA Discussion Papers 368, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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Cited by:
  1. Claudia Olivetti & M. Daniele Paserman, 2013. "In the Name of the Son (and the Daughter): Intergenerational Mobility in the United States, 1850-1930," NBER Working Papers 18822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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