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Modeling American Marriage Patterns

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  • David E. Bloom
  • Neil G. Bennett

Abstract

This paper investigates the application of the three-parameter, Coale-McNeil marriage model and some related hyper-parameterized specifications to data on the first marriage patterns of American women. Because the model is parametric, it can be used to estimate the parameters of the marriage process, free of censoring bias, for cohorts that have yet to complete their first marriage experience. Empirical evidence from three surveys is reported on the ability of the model to replicate and project observed marriage behavior. The results indicate that the model can be a useful tool for analyzing cohort marriage data and that recent cohorts are showing relatively strong proclivities to both delay and forego marriage. Consistent with earlier work, the results also indicate that education is a powerful covariate of the timing of first marriage and that race is a powerful covariate of its incidence.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3425.

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Date of creation: Aug 1990
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Publication status: published as Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol 85, No. 412, December 1990.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3425

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  1. Keeley, Michael C, 1979. "An Analysis of the Age Pattern of First Marriage," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 527-44, June.
  2. repec:fth:coluec:443 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Willard Rodgers & Arland Thornton, 1985. "Changing patterns of first marriage in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 265-279, May.
  4. Robert Schoen & William Urton & Karen Woodrow & John Bai, 1985. "Marriage and divorce in twentieth century American cohorts," Demography, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 101-114, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Maria Winkler-Dworak & Henriette Engelhardt, 2004. "On the tempo and quantum of first marriages in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 10(9), pages 231-264, May.
  2. Bonilla, Roberto & Kiraly, Francis, 2013. "Marriage wage premium in a search equilibrium," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 107-115.
  3. Ryuichi Kaneko, 2003. "Elaboration of the Coale-McNeil Nuptiality Model as The Generalized Log Gamma Distribution," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 9(10), pages 223-262, November.
  4. Neil G. Bennett & David E. Bloom & Cynthia K. Miller, 1993. "The Influence of Nonmarital Childbearing on the Formation of First Marriages," NBER Working Papers 4564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. William Axinn & Cynthia Link & Robert Groves, 2011. "Responsive Survey Design, Demographic Data Collection, and Models of Demographic Behavior," Demography, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 1127-1149, August.

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