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Age at marriage and marital instability: revisiting the Becker–Landes–Michael hypothesis

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  • Evelyn Lehrer

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Abstract

An early age at first marriage is known to be associated with a high risk of divorce. Yet it has been suggested that beyond a certain point, the relationship between age at marriage and marital instability may become positive, because as unmarried women begin to hear their biological clock tick, they may settle for matches far from the optimal. Analyses based on cycles 5 and 6 of the National Surveys of Family Growth show that the relationship between age at marriage and marital instability is strongly negative up to the late twenties, with a flattening of the curve thereafter.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Population Economics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 463-484

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Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:21:y:2008:i:2:p:463-484

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Related research

Keywords: Divorce; Marital dissolution; Age at marriage; J12; J11; J10;

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References

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  1. Weiss, Yoram & Willis, Robert J, 1997. "Match Quality, New Information, and Marital Dissolution," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S293-329, January.
  2. Linda J. Waite & Evelyn L. Lehrer, 2003. "The Benefits from Marriage and Religion in the United States: A Comparative Analysis," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(2), pages 255-275.
  3. Chiswick, Carmel U & Lehrer, Evelyn L, 1990. "On Marriage-Specific Human Capital: Its Role as a Determinant of Remarriage," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 193-213, October.
  4. Becker, Gary S & Landes, Elisabeth M & Michael, Robert T, 1977. "An Economic Analysis of Marital Instability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1141-87, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Wolfgang Frimmel & Martin Halla & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2009. "Assortative Mating and Divorce: Evidence from Austrian Register Data," NRN working papers 2009-18, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Kneip, Thorsten & Bauer, Gerrit & Reinhold, Steffen, 2011. "Direct and Indirect Effects of Unilateral Divorce Law on Marital Stability," MEA discussion paper series 11248, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  3. Rebecca Kippen & Bruce Chapman & Peng Yu, 2010. "What's love got to do with it? Homogamy and dyadic approaches to understanding marital instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 631, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  4. Chiswick, Barry R. & Houseworth, Christina A., 2008. "Ethnic Intermarriage among Immigrants: Human Capital and Assortative Mating," IZA Discussion Papers 3740, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Zhang, Chuanchuan, 2012. "结婚年龄与婚姻的稳定性:来自断点回归的证据
    [Age at marriage and marital stability: evidence from a regression discontinuity design]
    ," MPRA Paper 38809, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Delia Furtado & Miriam Marcén & Almudena Sevilla, 2013. "Does Culture Affect Divorce? Evidence From European Immigrants in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 1013-1038, June.
  7. Ayako Kondo, 2012. "Gender-specific labor market conditions and family formation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 151-174, January.
  8. Lehrer, Evelyn L. & Chen, Yu, 2012. "Delayed Entry into First Marriage: Further Evidence on the Becker-Landes-Michael Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 6729, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Richard Lampard, 2013. "Age at marriage and the risk of divorce in England and Wales," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(7), pages 167-202, July.
  10. PARISI, Lavinia, 2012. "The Determinants of First and Second Marital Dissolution. Evidence from Britain," CELPE Discussion Papers 121, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
  11. Evelyn Lehrer & Yu Chen, 2013. "Delayed entry into first marriage and marital stability," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(20), pages 521-542, September.

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