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On Population Structure and Marriage Dynamics

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  • Giolito, Eugenio P.

    ()
    (Universidad Alberto Hurtado)

Abstract

I develop an equilibrium, two-sided search model of marriage with endogenous population growth to study the interaction between fertility, the age structure of the population and the age at first marriage of men and women. Within a simple two-period overlapping generation model I show that, given an increase of the desired number of children, age at marriage is affected through two different channels. First, as population growth increases, the age structure of the population produces a thicker market for young people, inducing early marriages. The second channel comes from differential fecundity: if the desired number of children is not feasible for older women, women tend to marry younger and men older, with single men outnumbering single women in equilibrium. Using an extended version of the model to a finite number of periods and fertility data, I show that two mechanisms described above may have acted as persistence mechanisms after the U.S “baby boom”. I show that demographic transitional dynamics after the baby boom may account for approximately a 23% of the increase in men's age of marriage between 1985 and 2009, albeit the impact on women's age is small.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5224.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics: Advances in Macroeconomics, 2010, 10 (1), Article 33
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5224

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Keywords: search; marriage; population structure;

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References

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  1. An, Mark Yuying, 1995. "Logconcavity versus Logconvexity: A Complete Characterization," Working Papers 95-03, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Coles, Melvyn & Francesconi, Marco, 2007. "On the Emergence of Toyboys: Equilibrium Matching with Ageing and Uncertain Careers," IZA Discussion Papers 2612, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Tracy J. Cornelius, 2003. "A Search Model of Marriage and Divorce," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), pages 135-155, January.
  4. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Nezih Guner & John Knowles, 2002. "Why Do Women Wait? Matching, Wage Inequality, and the Incentives for Fertility Delay," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(4), pages 815-855, October.
  5. Shannon N. Seitz, 2002. "Accounting for Racial Differences in Marriage and Employment," Working Papers 1009, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Díaz-Giménez, Javier & Giolito, Eugenio P., 2008. "Gender Differences and the Timing of First Marriages," IZA Discussion Papers 3539, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Bergstrom, T. & Bagnoli, M., 1991. "Courtship as a waiting game," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 386, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Eugenio Giolito, 2004. "A Search Model of Marriage with Differential Fecundity," Labor and Demography 0402007, EconWPA.
  9. Steven Stern & Michael J. Brien & Lee A. Lillard, 1999. "Cohabitation, Marriage, and Divorce in a Model of Match Quality," Virginia Economics Online Papers 322, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  10. Lones Smith, 2006. "The Marriage Model with Search Frictions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(6), pages 1124-1146, December.
  11. Lena Edlund, 1999. "Son Preference, Sex Rations, and Marriage Patterns," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1275-1304, December.
  12. Linda Y. Wong, 2001. "Structural Estimation of Marriage Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 222, Society for Computational Economics.
  13. Burdett, Kenneth & Coles, Melvyn G, 1999. "Long-Term Partnership Formation: Marriage and Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F307-34, June.
  14. Bloch, Francis & Ryder, Harl, 2000. "Two-Sided Search, Marriages, and Matchmakers," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(1), pages 93-115, February.
  15. Michele Tertilt, 2005. "Polygyny, Fertility, and Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(6), pages 1341-1370, December.
  16. Burdett, Ken & Coles, Melvyn G, 1997. "Marriage and Class," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 141-68, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Javier Diaz-Jimenez & Eugenio P. Giolito, 2008. "Gender differences and the timing of first marriages," Economics Working Papers we080804, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.

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