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America's settling down: How better jobs and falling immigration led to a rise in marriage, 1880–1930

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  • Cvrcek, Tomas

Abstract

The early 20th century was a period of rising marriage rate and falling age at marriage. This was due to two factors affecting men. First, men's improving labor market prospects made them more attractive as marriage partners. Second, immigration had a dynamic effect on search costs. In the short-run, it fragmented the marriage market, making it harder to find a partner of one's preferred background. The high search costs led to less marriage and later marriage in the 1890s. In the long-run, as immigration declined, immigrants' descendants integrated with American society. This reduced search costs and increased the marriage rate.

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  • Cvrcek, Tomas, 2012. "America's settling down: How better jobs and falling immigration led to a rise in marriage, 1880–1930," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 335-351.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:49:y:2012:i:3:p:335-351
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2012.04.001
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Boustan, 2017. "Immigration in American Economic History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1311-1345, December.
    2. Olivetti, Claudia & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2013. "In the Name of the Son (and the Daughter): Intergenerational Mobility in the United States, 1850-1930," CEPR Discussion Papers 9372, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Tie-Ying Liu & Hsu-Ling Chang & Chi-Wei Su, 2017. "Why do People Get Married? An Inframarginal Perspective," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 130(3), pages 1281-1295, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Marriage market; Search costs; Immigration;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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