Re-Visiting the Easterlin Hypothesis: Marriage in the U.S. 1968-2010
AbstractThis study tests the effect of relative income – younger people's earning potential relative to their aspirations, as approximated by older families' income – on the proportions married, by sex, in the first fifteen years out of school. It finds that relative income has become a better measure to use, than relative cohort size, because of a disconnect that has developed between the two as a result of rising female labor force participation among older women that has inflated older families’ income faster than older men's earnings. The results are highly supportive of the Easterlin relative income hypothesis, finding a dominant negative effect of older family income that extends due to postponement effects even into groups 11-15 years out of school. But in addition it finds a strong but changing effect of the female wage: positive among women 0-5 years out of school, although slowly declining over time, but negative among the older women with a dominant positive time trend that has produced a positive effect in the last decade. The elasticity with respect to older family income suggests that it was responsible for 16% of the observed decline in the proportion of women 0-5 years out of school who were married, and 23% of the proportion for the men in the same group. There is in addition, however, a very strong negative time trend.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5886.
Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page: http://www.iza.org
Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2011-08-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2011-08-15 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2011-08-15 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert McNown & Sameer Rajbhandary, 2003. "Time series analysis of fertility and female labor market behavior," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 501-523, 08.
- Grossbard-Shechtman, Shoshana Amyra, 1984. "A Theory of Allocation of Time in Markets for Labour and Marriage," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376), pages 863-82, December.
- Tara Watson & Sara McLanahan, 2009.
"Marriage Meets the Joneses: Relative Income, Identity, and Marital Status,"
NBER Working Papers
14773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Tara Watson & Sara McLanahan, 2011. "Marriage Meets the Joneses: Relative Income, Identity, and Marital Status," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 482-517.
- Tara Watson & Sara McLanahan, 2010. "Marriage Meets the Joneses: Relative Income, Identity, and Marital Status," Department of Economics Working Papers 2010-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
- Tara Watson & Sara McLanahan, 2009. "Marriage Meets the Joneses: Relative Income, Identity, and Marital Status," Working Papers 1141, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
- Gould, Eric D & Paserman, Marco Daniele, 2002.
"Waiting for Mr Right: Rising Inequality and Declining Marriage Rates,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3388, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Gould, Eric D. & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2003. "Waiting for Mr. Right: rising inequality and declining marriage rates," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 257-281, March.
- Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Arnstein Aassve, 2003.
"The role of income in marriage and divorce transitions among young Americans,"
Journal of Population Economics,
Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 455-475, 08.
- Simon Burgess & Carol Propper & Arnstein Aassve, 2002. "The role of income in marriage and divorce transitions among young Americans," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2002-022, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S65-97, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.