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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, we investigate the impact of labor and marriage market conditions on the incidence of marriage of young women (age 16-24). We employ a two-stage methodology. First, across individuals, marriage is regressed on personal characteristics and MSA indicators, separately by race and education group. Second, the first-stage MSA effects are regressed on MSA-level labor and marriage market conditions and welfare benefits using cross-section and fixed effects models, including both first and second difference equations. 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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7510.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn & Jane Waldfogel. "Understanding young women's marriage decisions: The role of labor and marriage market conditions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, ILR School, Cornell University, vol. 53(4), pages 624-647, July 2000.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7510

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  1. Topel, Robert H, 1986. "Local Labor Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S111-43, June.
  2. Blau, Francine D & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1981. "Causes and Consequences of Layoffs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 270-96, April.
  3. T. Paul Schultz, 1994. "Marital Status and Fertility in the United States: Welfare and Labor Market Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 637-669.
  4. Bound, John & Holzer, Harry J, 1993. "Industrial Shifts, Skills Levels, and the Labor Market for White and Black Males," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(3), pages 387-96, August.
  5. Jaeger, David A, 1997. "Reconciling the Old and New Census Bureau Education Questions: Recommendations for Researchers," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 300-309, July.
  6. Hilary Williamson Hoynes, 1995. "Does Welfare Play Any Role in Female Headship Decisions?," NBER Working Papers 5149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, Ekim.
  8. Richard B. Freeman, 1990. "Employment and Earnings of Disadvantaged Young Men in a Labor Shortage Economy," NBER Working Papers 3444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. George J. Borjas & Richard B. Friedman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "How Much Do Immigration and Trade Affect Labor Market Outcomes?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 1-90.
  10. 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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  13. Timothy J. Bartik, . "Who Benefits from Local Job Growth: Migrants or Original Residents?," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles tjb1993rs, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  14. 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 1153-97, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
  15. Lynn White, 1981. "A note on racial differences in the effecty of female economic opportunity on marriage rates," Demography, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 349-354, August.
  16. Scott South & Kim Lloyd, 1992. "Marriage markets and nonmarital fertility in the United States," Demography, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 247-264, May.
  17. John M. Abowd & Richard B. Freeman, 1991. "Immigration, Trade, and the Labor Market," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number abow91-1, Ekim.
  18. Ellwood, David T & Crane, Jonathan, 1990. "Family Change among Black Americans: What Do We Know?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 65-84, Fall.
  19. Moffitt, Robert, 1990. "The effect of the U.S. welfare system on marital status," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 101-124, February.
  20. Rebecca Blank, 1995. "Teen pregnancy: government programs are not the cause," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 47-58.
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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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