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Understanding young women's marriage decisions: The role of labor and marriage market conditions

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  • Francine D. Blau
  • Lawrence M. Kahn
  • Jane Waldfogel

Abstract

Using the 1970, 1980, and 1990 Censuses, the authors investigate the impact of labor and marriage market conditions on the incidence of marriage of young women (age 16-24). They first estimate the effects on marriage of personal characteristics and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) indicators, separately by race and education group. They then regress the first-stage MSA effects on MSA-level labor and marriage market conditions and welfare benefits, taking account of fixed effects and time trends special to each MSA. Better female labor markets, worse female marriage markets, and worse male labor markets are found to lower marriage rates for whites in all education groups. Results for these variables for blacks are sensitive to estimation technique, although stronger results are obtained for an older age group (25-34). While welfare benefits have a negative effect in cross-sectional analyses, the association becomes considerably weaker in fixed effects specifications. (Author's abstract.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2000)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 624-647

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:53:y:2000:i:4:p:624-647

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  1. Scott South & Kim Lloyd, 1992. "Marriage markets and nonmarital fertility in the United States," Demography, Springer, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 247-264, May.
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  6. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "The effect of the U.S. welfare system on marital status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 101-124, February.
  7. Rebecca Blank, 1995. "Teen pregnancy: government programs are not the cause," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 47-58.
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  15. R. A. Moffitt, . "The Effect of Welfare on Marriage and Fertility: What Do We Know and What Do We Need to Know?," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty 1153-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
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  17. David Neumark & Sanders D. Korenman, 1988. "Does marriage really make men more productive?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) 29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  1. Why are marriage rates falling?
    by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2007-02-21 13:55:54
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